San Francisco may be one of the most pedestrian friendly cities according to Walkscore, but any pedestrian will tell you that navigating our city’s broken sidewalks is like picking through a minefield. Many of San Francisco’s sidewalks are in serious disrepair: the pavement is buckled, rock debris litter the path, and potholes ready for an unsuspecting ankle are ubiquitous.
The city has recently allotted a $200,000 state grant for the study of which SF sidewalks are in the worst disrepair as well as what repairs are necessary to make them safer. The report will prioritize the walkways, hopefully making it easier to secure necessary funding to complete the actual repairs. According to the Examiner, The City already has a whopping $17 million backlog in sidewalk repairs, which doesn’t include the $200,000 it spends each year on injury lawsuits due to dangerous walking conditions.
The solution to our walking woes won’t be easy. According to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, most sidewalk damage is caused by the underground roots of city-maintained trees. The roots buckle the pavement, lifting, cracking, and crumbling sidewalks.
Yet Manish Champsee of Walk SF, a pedestrian advocacy organization, said adding improvements like trees can contribute to traffic calming and improve pedestrian safety. We’ll be interested to see the findings of the study (which begins in October) which will be submitted to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority for funding.
Let’s save the city some money and nominate which sidewalks are in need of immediate attention. I personally can attest to the urban jungle of SoMa sidewalks, what are your recommendations?