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Los Angeles Sidewalks Present Opportunity for a Greener Solution

4,000 miles of broken sidewalks and scarce money to make repairs...that spells opportunity!

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City heat island from greenhouse gas and global climate change

Sidewalk Repair with a Greener, More Sustainable Twist? Anyone?

By watching public policy, you can spot trends and changes -- and where there is change, there is opportunity. When a city faces a change as significant in size as Los Angeles sidewalk repair, there is scale, and with the city's green attitude, there is green opportunity.

Follow the Money!

February 21, 2008 Faced with more than 4,000 miles of broken sidewalks and scarce money to make repairs, Los Angeles officials are weighing a proposal to put responsibility for making the fixes squarely on homeowners.

Under the proposal, homeowners would be forced to replace the damaged pavement -- or pay the city a fee -- when they sell their property, before the close of escrow.

Los Angeles spends $9 million annually on sidewalk repairs, enough to replace a little more than 50 miles each year, said Bill Robertson, general manager of the Bureau of Street Services.

At that rate, the city will fix its current 4,600 miles of broken sidewalks around 2091, he said.

Los Angeles has 6,000 additional miles of sidewalk considered in good condition.

The city also spends about $3 million annually on lawsuits and legal claims stemming from injuries blamed on uneven sidewalks.

Although city inspectors can issue citations to property owners with broken sidewalks -- forcing them to make the necessary repairs -- they have not done so since 1973. That year the City Council passed an ordinance that said private property owners were not responsible for sidewalks damaged by tree roots.

The legal view turned out to be incorrect, and city officials began putting money toward sidewalk repairs shortly after 2000. But there's still that backlog...

Rubber Sidewalks? Installation? Think Green Jobs!

So, do you have an inexpensive, homeowner scaled solution? The timing is right for a greener solution. Maybe recycled tires for flexible sidewalks that prevent uneven sidewalks?

Just one more green business opportunity!

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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