City officials propose spending $100M to repair sidewalks

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SAN DIEGO -- Members of the San Diego City Council are proposing spending $100 million to fix sidewalks over a 10-year period.

The proposal is part of an effort to prevent more lawsuits from continuing to pile up against the city.

Sidewalks throughout San Diego are often damaged when tree roots push up through the concrete, posing tripping hazards to pedestrians that can be dangerous.

"We've paid out close to $10 million in the last few years in trips and falls on sidewalks as it is," Councilman Scott Sherman told FOX 5. "If we would have addressed these things back in the past, we wouldn't be having those issues now."

It is currently a homeowner's responsibility to arrange for damaged portions of sidewalk near their homes to be fixed. At the start of 2020, there were about 81,000 backlogged cracked sidewalks in San Diego.

Even though homeowners are technically responsible for fixing the broken concrete, Sherman said it is often the city that is sued when pedestrians trip or fall. "We need to really start tackling it as a city, because we end up taking the liability whenever there is an issue," Sherman said.

Part of the councilmembers' plan is to make it easier for homeowners to fix damaged sidewalks by reducing or eliminating permit fees.

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