San Diego infrastructure rally

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The residents of Sherman Heights and Councilmember David Alvarez say sidewalk repairs are all but forgotten despite all the talk about streets and infrastructure being a priority.

Meantime, cracked sidewalks are causing injuries and property owners are responsible for permanent repairs to damaged sidewalks.

The councilmember and several Sherman Heights residents gathered at 21st and Imperial to urge the city to step up sidewalk repairs that are causing injuries every year and taxpayers are on the hook for the medical bills.

Trying to navigate huge cracks can be dangerous for mothers wheeling babies in strollers over uneven sidewalks.

Broken sidewalks in every city neighborhood are also a challenge for seniors who dare not walk out onto the street.

"I come here so they fix the sidewalks so the senior will not fall again because there’s a lot of seniors that get hurt," said Sylvia Leon of San Ysidro.

Sandra, another resident, is one of those who has been hurt by the sidewalks.

"I broke my arm, broke my wrist, and I broke my knee and I said it, why you no complain cause we don’t know where to go," she said.

In 2014, the city paid $172 thousand for trips and falls in 2015 that shot up to $640 thousand.

To Luz Palomino, it’s not that the city isn’t doing anything, but for some communities, like Sherman Heights, it’s just not enough.

"they do something, a little outside our community but nothing here I thin its not fair, we want equally," Palomino said.

A few blocks away in Golden Hill, she sees a different story.

"The streets, everything is neat and nice but not Sherman," Palomino said.

"We are waiting out turn to have the city or the mayor invest, we want to see some changes," Leon said.

"We want to make sure that everybody hears us loud and clear. The community is demanding that we have safe sidewalks for everyone," said Councilmember David Alvarez.

One reason repairs are slow is because property owners are responsible for replacing damaged sidewalks. Councilmember Alvarez wants that changed.

"I strongly believe that the council policy needs to be revised to shift the cost of maintaining sidewalks back to the city 100 percent," he said.

And Alvarez said the "Rebuild San Diego" infrastructure charter change is political spin, giving everyone the impression it will solve our infrastructure problem, yet sidewalks were not included in that comprehensive assessment of needs. Our needs over the next 5 years, he says, is $1.5 billion. "Rebuild" will only provide $186 million.

"This proposal doesn’t even get us 10 percent of that money over the next five years. It absolutely does not solve the infrastructure problem," he added.

The councilmember said the vast majority of the $3 billion funding from "Rebuild San Diego" will not be available until 15 years from now.

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