Report: Sidewalk installations in San Diego would total $170M

SAN DIEGO - The city of San Diego has 425 requests for sidewalk installations throughout the city, which would cost a combined $170 million, but only budgets $1 million annually to pay for them, according to a report delivered Monday to the City Council's Infrastructure Committee.

Each project carries a price tag of $400,000, according to the report. The money used to fund sidewalk installations is part of revenue from the half-cent TransNet sales tax.

"Some neighborhoods are missing sidewalks on common walking routes, and that is unacceptable," said Councilman Mark Kersey, the committee chairman.

The need for installations could increase depending on an assessment of the city's sidewalk conditions, according to the report from the city's Transportation and Storm Water Department.

Kersey and Councilwoman Myrtle Cole said they will work with staff and the city's Independent Budget Analyst to revise city policies on sidewalks, some provisions of which are four decades old. The policies have led to confusion over whether the city or adjacent property-owners are responsible for repairing damaged sidewalks -- resulting in inaction, Kersey said.

"The city's longtime neglect of our infrastructure is as evident on our cracked and broken sidewalks as it is on our bumpy, potholed streets," Kersey said. "We need to overhaul these outdated policies in order to make San Diego a more walkable community with priority on creating safe routes to schools, enhancing ADA accessibility and improving business frontages."

San Diego has about 5,000 miles of sidewalks.

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