The $ 2 Billion Sidewalk Problem in Dallas – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Dallas has a $ 2 billion backlog in ruined or missing sidewalks, but only about $ 15 million in this year’s budget to begin tackling the problem.
Dallas City Council members heard a briefing on the sidewalk challenge this week and one member suggested asking charities to help bring in more money.
Consultants have been hired to prepare the sidewalk master plan which identifies issues and guides improvement.
An example of the situation is the area east of Central Expressway near Lemmon Avenue where Courtney Wade walks her dog.
“And I’m still tripping, just hitting my toe on the corners.” There are a lot of potholes in it, ”she said.
The area is booming with many new homes being built.
Home builder John Marasli also lives in the area.
He is responsible for replacing the sidewalks in front of his new homes, but that leaves many other areas that fall under the city’s responsibility.
“Everyone who moves in just wants to have a safe environment where they can walk their dogs and run anything,” he said.
This neighborhood is one of 12 focus areas that will split the $ 15 million available for sidewalks in Dallas in this year’s budget that went into effect Oct. 1.
In his state of the city address Wednesday, Mayor Eric Johnson said Dallas must focus on basic services to better compete with suburbs for people and jobs.
“The towns we called our dormitory communities have caught us napping over the years,” Johnson said.
City council discussed the sidewalks at a briefing on Tuesday.
“We can’t be a pedestrian city if we don’t have sidewalks that work for people,” Council member Cara Mendelsohn said.
City staff have said sidewalks could get a bigger slice of the pie in the upcoming referendum on public improvement bonds in a few years.
Councilor Chad West suggested raising a lot more money for the sidewalks by asking charity groups to help.
“We go to our philanthropic partners, our foundations. We’re basically doing what’s been done for the homeless to try to double our money, ”West said.
Builder John Marasli said better sidewalks would boost his neighborhood.
“It would definitely help the community,” he said.
Courtney Wade said it would make walking the dogs safer, especially at night when sidewalk joints are difficult to see.
“I think that would help a lot,” she said.
A briefing paper on Tuesday gave a little update on the sidewalk efforts.