Solving San Diego's Sidewalk Safety Woes - SDCB Is Getting Involved and You Can, Too

San Diego city sidewalk in disrepairIf you've spent any time walking around San Diego, you've no doubt seen the sorry state of our city's sidewalks. Crumbling concrete, depressions, cracks, weed growth, sudden changes in elevation and more make for uneven and unpredictable terrain. This is dangerous to all pedestrians, but it poses a particular risk to those who are blind or visually impaired.  

That's why our CEO Kim Gibbens recently wrote to Mayor Bob Filner urging him to address this pressing problem. You can download a .pdf file of her letter here. In it, she reminds His Honor that people with visual impairments are at risk of serious falls and injuries as they may not be able to anticipate or sense the obstacles presented by crumbling walkways, and goes on to note her shock "that a City which fully embraces ADA standards would allow such utter disrepair along its sidewalks."

Voice of San Diego, which documents the city's sidewalk problems photographically in its blog The Stumblr, featured Kim's letter in its recent article Blind Advocates to Mayor: Fix Sidewalks. In the wake of that letter and article, San Diego City Council member Mark Kersey told us that he will continue his push for a sidewalk evaluation and more ADA funding; five more Council members have joined him in proposing that $1 million be allocated next year for a citywide assessment of the state of our sidewalks.

This is great news and we're pleased to have played a part in these first steps toward fixing our walkways, but it's not over yet. Approval for the evaluation has not been finalized (the final budget deliberations will take place June 10th) and it's yet another jump from there to satisfactory repairs. We want the city to see this through for the safety of all San Diego residents and visitors. Please lend your voice to the growing chorus urging the city to do something about this safety hazard. You can get contact info for Mayor Filner's office here and for your Council member here.

Image Description: A sidewalk that has been cracked and pushed apart by a tree's roots, leading to an uneven, gapped and sloping surface as well as protruding pieces of concrete
Image Credit: Debbie Petruzzelli via The Stumblr

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