Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Where the Sidewalk Ends

The late Shel Silverstein is a beloved author of poetry and books for children and adults alike. From The Giving Tree to The Light in the Attic, Shel is known as a master of word slinging. But, perhaps most relevant to the City of LA, he writes of the mythical place "where the sidewalk ends".

Here in the City of LA, that place is not so mythical. In fact, on many streets, the sidewalk starts as abruptly as it stops. Why is that, people often wonder. "How could the City let this happen?"

Well, it's not the City... entirely. By State Law, the "1911 Act" dictates that the property owner is responsible fro the installation and maintenance of the sidewalk in front of their property. So, when you see their are sections of missing sidewalk (or curbs and gutters for that matter), you can point the finger, not at the City, but at the property owner who first developed the property. Often, when developments were laid out, a choice was made to have sidewalks, curbs and gutters - or not to. Some developers chose to only install asphalt berms to delineate the roadway from the private property, recalling the rural feel that such limited improvements convey.

So, if you see the sidewalk end, don't blame the City. That adjacent property owner has the right to have a sidewalk. Now, once a sidewalk is in place, it is NOT the property owners right to remove it. Additionally, if there is no sidewalk, the property owner is still required to have a ADA compliant access across their property in the public easement (if one exists).

This is a very complicated issue that is best dealt with on a case by case basis. Essentially, though, it is not the City's fault if there is no sidewalk. And sadly, there are not funds to install sidewalks on every street that are missing them.

drawing by Shel Silverstein


Anonymous said...

This is excellent information. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

As you're growing up as a teenager, there are a number of things that you look forward to; getting your drivers

license, graduating from high school, going to your senior prom, having your first date and having your first beer.

The problem with this last one is that the drinking age and the thing you want make it something that you just can't

have yet. And still, you want it and will go to any lengths to get it.

Underage beer drinking is certainly no secret and to try to sweep it under the carpet isn't going to make it go

away. But the most odd thing about underage drinking when it comes to beer is that even after kids sneak their first

beer, they still want to have another one. If you're wondering why that sounds so strange then you need to think

back to when YOU had your first beer. It was pretty nasty tasting. Let's be honest, beer is bitter and is an

acquired taste. Very few people, if any at all, enjoyed their first beer. Many even get sick after it because of the

taste or the fact that they're not used to the alcohol yet.