Last year we reported that the Department of Public works was cracking down on broken sidewalks in the Mission as part of the Sidewalk Improvement and Repair Program.

A year later, with approximately 170 repairs made to heavily-trafficked sidewalks — half of them in the Mission — it’s time to pay the bill.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on Tuesday on a proposal to add an assessment to property owners’ property-tax bills to cover repair costs. The assessment would apply to owners who have not yet reimbursed the city, as well as those who requested to be billed in this manner.

Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks in front of their property. DPW occasionally inspects heavily-trafficked sidewalks and notifies the owners if repairs are needed.

Owners can choose to make the repairs themselves or have the city do it. The latter can be cheaper, since the city can waive the permit fee for repairs.

The Broken Sidewalks of 24th Street Remain

Earlier this month a coalition of community members, city agencies and nonprofit organizations decided it wanted to repair the sidewalks of the lower 24th Street corridor from Mission to Potrero streets.

A study by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority concluded that old trees cause most of the sidewalk damage. That put the repairs under DPW’s  jurisdiction.

So will DPW step in to make the repairs? Maybe.

Christine Falvey, DPW’s spokesperson, said the department would repair the sidewalk damage under its jurisdiction. The corridor has been identified as a priority over the next four years.

However, the city’s dismal budget situation could delay the repairs. An article in The Examiner points out that DPW is facing a budget shortfall and repair backlogs.

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Rigoberto Hernandez

Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

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3 Comments

  1. So if it’s cheaper to let the City repair and bill the property owner after the fact-thus waiving the permits($120+), how does a P.O. figure out what that cost benefit might be? Do they (the City) have a sample fee per sq. foot or something? With random white dot fever suddenly going on all over town-that would be great to know.

    1. thanks for your comment. I recall the DPW spokesperson saying the city does indeed have a set prices on the cost per square foot. I don’t know it now, but i’ll put in the question to DPW for you if you want to know.

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