Sidewalk Survey Results

ECSWANDC conducted a Sidewalk Summit and Sidewalk Survey in November 2014 and compiled the following summary and results:

The analysis of the surveys received in response to the ECSWANDC sidewalk summit has been completed. 287 surveys were sent out and 30 were returned (a response rate of 10.4%). The vast majority of those respondents (90%) were homeowners, 3% of respondents were renters and 7% declined to answer. The average time lived in the home ranged from 5 years to 53 years with an average residency of 32.13 years.

A more detailed analysis of the results of the sidewalk survey indicate that the majority of respondents, representing a sample of the residents of the Empowerment Congress Southwest Area Neighborhood Development Council (ECSWANDC), felt that repair of damaged sidewalks, regardless of the cause of the damage, should remain the responsibility of the City.  Also, the respondents were 100% against any type of fix and release option, the results showing that they do not want liability for sidewalks passed on to the residents after repair.

The survey responses also indicated that the residents of the ECSWANDC do not wish to employ independent contractors nor are they in favor of repairing only the damaged portion of a sidewalk instead of the entire sidewalk.  The majority of respondents are in favor of removing trees without replacing them.  This is a clear indication of the frustration of many residents with the failure of the City to maintain the trees and address damage cause by tree roots. Additionally, the majority of respondents felt that the City should reimburse property owners at pre-determined rates when they repair their damaged sidewalks themselves.

With regards to the policy initiatives, an overwhelming majority of the respondents do not want the City to revive the 50/50 program and even larger percentages are against increasing taxes to pay for sidewalk repair. Assessment districts, point of service, permit and sale were also soundly rejected as possible options by a large majority of the respondents. The responses for and against the City's establishment of a low cost fund for all sidewalk repairs, caused by trees or not, were very close, with those against the idea barely edging out those in favor. The close margin may be an indication that this policy idea may have
some merit and further discussion may be warranted.  This is also the case with the establishment of long term bonds that would be the responsibility of the General Fund, which was overwhelming supported by a majority of the respondents.

Finally, the majority of respondents felt that while commercial properties should be treated differently than residential property owners, property owners who have been in their homes for more than 25 years should not be treated differently from those who have less time in their homes.

The following details the exact percentages. To view the pie charts see the Sidewalk Survey Results with pie charts. Originals of the documents and statistics are available upon request.  Please submit any questions or comments to ECSWANDC Treasurer, Margaret Peters at ecswtreasurer@gmail.com.

ECSWANDC also submitted questions to the Los Angeles City Administrative Officer. View the Los Angeles CAO Sidewalk Repair Responses.

Should the City be responsible for the repair of tree damaged sidewalks?
Yes: 96.7%
No: 3.3%

Should property owners be responsible for the repair of sidewalks that are NOT damaged by trees?
Yes: 10%
No: 86.7%
No Response: 3.3%

Once the sidewalks are repaired, should the property owners be responsible for their sidewalks?
Yes: 0%
No: 100%

Should property owners be able to hire independent contractors to repair their sidewalks?
Yes: 40%
No: 60%

Instead of replacing the entire sidewalk, should property owners be allowed to repair only the damaged segments of their sidewalks?
Yes: 40°/o
No: 60%

Should property owners be allowed to remove trees without replacing them?
Yes: 53.3%
No: 46.7%

Should property owners be reimbursed for the repair of their tree damaged sidewalks by the City at predetermined rates?
Yes: 73.3%
No: 20%
No Response: 6.7%

Should the City revive the 50150 program where the property owner and the City split the cost of the tree damaged sidewalks based on predetermined costs?
Yes: 20%
No: 76.7%
No Response: 3.3%

Should the City establish a low cost loan fund to finance the repair of a property owner's sidewalk, including those segments not damaged by trees?
Yes: 40%
No: 43.3%
No Response: 16.7%

Should the City finance its obligations to fix our sidewalks through the issuance of long term bonds that are the responsibility of the General Fund?
Yes: 93.3%
No: 3.3%
No Response: 3.3%

Should the City increase our taxes to finance the repair of our tree damaged sidewalks?
Yes: 6.7%
No: 90%
No Response: 3.3%

Should sidewalk repair costs be prorated to all property owners with the option to spread the payments over a number of years (Assessment Districts)?
Yes: 10%
No: 86.7%
No Response: 3.3%

Should property owners be responsible for any necessary sidewalk repair each time utility services are required (Point of Service)?
Yes: 3.3%
No: 96.7%

Should property owners be responsible for any necessary sidewalk repair each time a permit is obtained over a designated amount (Point of Permit)?
Yes: 3.3%
No: 93.3%
No Response: 3.3%

Should property owners be responsible for making necessary sidewalk repairs or guarantee that the necessary repairs will be made, prior to the close of escrow, each time a house or property is sold (Point of Sale)?
Yes: 6.7%
No: 93.3%

Should residential property owners (homeowners) be treated differently than owners of commercial properties?
Yes: 70%
No: 20%
No Response: 10%

Should resident property owners (homeowners) of 25 years or more be treated differently?
Yes: 26.7%
No: 60%
No Response: 13.3%

Sidewalk image by Seemann