Photo by John Schreiber.
City Councilman Bernard Parks.Photo by John Schreiber.

Repair crews started work on a buckled sidewalk outside a South Los Angeles home Tuesday as part of a collaboration between City Councilman Bernard Parks and the nonprofit Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative.

The privately funded sidewalk repair project at 1762 W. 48th St. is the 100th in Parks’ district as a result of the partnership.

The work is in front of the home of Geneva James, who moves around with the aid of a walker and said the damaged sidewalk makes it difficult for her to leave her residence.

The 100 projects completed with the help of LANI cost $748,120 and were performed more quickly and cheaply than projects done by city crews, the councilman said.

“I couldn’t be happier with our partnership with LANI,” Parks said. “They are fast, efficient, and cost-effective. It costs us about $7,500 to repair a sidewalk. With the city, it would easily cost two to three times that amount.”

Last year, the city budgeted $10 million for sidewalk repairs, but ultimately just $3.7 million were allocated for 21 repair projects. Parks noted that the city this year budgeted $27 million for sidewalk repairs but has yet to allocate money toward any projects.

Parks said he hopes to get another 300 sidewalks repaired before he leaves office in June 2015.

The city is engaged in a number of legal disputes over disability access on public rights-of-way. Officials said those disputes will affect how the city approaches sidewalk repairs in front of privately owned homes and buildings.

The $27 million budgeted for sidewalk repairs this year had been recommended for projects next to city-owned-and-controlled properties, which are not affected by the litigation.

Officials identified at least 235 possible locations that need repairs, but city leaders this month held off on green-lighting the $27 million repair plan for these sites in favor of waiting for the outcome of the litigation.

City News Service

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