Three years is simply too long a timeframe to survey the city's miles upon miles of damaged sidewalks, three Los Angeles City Council members told the Bureau of Street Services on Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Councilmen Eric Garcetti, Bill Rosendahl and Joe Buscaino called for the Bureau of Street Services to "go back to the drawing board" on a proposed field survey of an estimated $1.5 billion in damaged sidewalks. They said they want a less costly approach than the proposed survey, which officials have predicted would cost "well over $10 million."
Last week, street repair managers told the council the survey would take three years, with specialists spending 18 months walking every sidewalk in the city and an additional six months developing the software that would list the results. The survey could be a first step toward asking property owners to approve a tax to finance repairs.
Northeast L.A. residents are no strangers to craggy sidewalks. Concrete slabs heave from the ground along North Figueroa Street, forced upward by the roots of Sycamore trees. Up and down Highland Park's and Eagle Rock's avenues, sidewalks damaged by trees uprooted during December's remain in disrepair.
In their presentation to the City Council, the Bureau of Street Services said it would take staff 18-months to walk the streets and another six to compile the data.
According to the Times, Garcetti said it takes his staff only one day to conduct a street-by-street graffiti assessment.
Is there a faster, cheaper way to survey sidewalks?
I asked Member Janet Dodson if a sidewalk survey wasn't just the kind of project the local boards were created to conduct.
Instead of hiring an expensive private contractor to walk the streets, why not send them to neighborhood councils to train the board members to do the job instead? The neighborhood council members could pass that knowledge onto local volunteers. Council and community members could then walk the streets over the course of a few weekends, mapping damaged sidewalks along the way.
"Two months, we could get it done, no problem," Dodson said.
Why not? Neighborhood residents already know the hotspots, and neighborhood councils were created for the purpose of communicating local issues to City agencies.
What do you think of this plan? Would you volunteer?