Wed, May

My Broken Sidewalk: I Made Them an Offer They Refused


VOICES - Hi Mitch (Councilman O’Farrell) … First, my ongoing congratulations on your well deserved win of the CD 13 LA Council seat. However, as most of your mail takes a turn for the worse so does this one.

Here's a little story to demonstrate to you the narrow or lack of vision of the Los Angeles Building Dept or whatever they are calling themselves these days:

We all know of the disastrous condition of so many of the city's sidewalks and the city's inability to do anything about them except deny their own culpability. 

This problem even goes back to planting varieties of trees in the parkways (that the city is unable to prune in a timely manner) with roots that destroy the streets and sidewalks around them. I have such a raised-by-roots sidewalk condition in front of my house that has gotten worse over the time I've had the property. 

We are talking about a project encompassing 2-3 squares of the walk, maybe 18 square feet a corner of which is currently raised about 6-8 inches.

I had an idea, that I would pay for, to hire an expert in placing and creating stone paths and walks who would:
raise the existing sidewalk,  trim the roots underneath, and reinstall the blocks into their original position paying attention to level them with the walks on either side that were unaffected by the problem. In effect make instant re-use of the sidewalk materials which in sustainable building parlance is urbanite--re-used broken up sidewalk. 

Get the job done in 1 day, need no additional materials besides a minimum of fill to level said slabs, create a more permeable surface than previously existed to allow rainwater to pass into the soil as opposed to run-off (as the new building codes are demanding be the case in much new construction)  and end up with no trash materials that would need to be trucked to a landfill.


Got the city dept guy out to describe the terms of a permit to do this project and his solution was: tear up raised slabs and trash them even saying that unaffected squares to the side should be removed as well, a process which would use noisy equipment to do so, remove roots, re-pour slabs.

This would make for large amount of materials going to landfill which equals a carbon footprint that includes trucking said material. This would need a large amount of new materials trucked in (carbon footprint contribution) to create new slabs, 
and use of noisy rented air-polluting equipment to prepare materials, and create impermeable surface to contribute to rainwater run-off into the gutter and sewers.

Time frame of project:  days and days.

Guess what, I'm not going to do it. Let the city come and paste on an ugly black asphalt ramp as is their quick fix solution if they want. I'm out of the "try to help the city out with an equitable solution to a small part of a huge problem" business.

Good luck to you my friend.

(Christine Anthony lives in Los Angeles in Council District 13, represented by Mitch O’Farrell.)







Pub: Sept 4, 2013


Get The News In Your Email Inbox Mondays & Thursdays