The subject of sidewalk maintenance has been mentioned before but is worth repeating. We have many locations in our neighborhood where tree roots, subsidence, vehicles or contractors have caused the sidewalks or curbs to be broken, sunken, elevated or missing. With so many of our neighbors out and about walking—especially with children often in strollers or on push toys—our sidewalks are of great importance, and often a contributing factor to individuals purchasing homes in SPP.
In the past we were able to contact the City and get these sidewalk issues repaired. This is no longer an option. For several years now the City Legal Department has ruled that the maintenance and repair of the curbs and sidewalks in front of our homes is our responsibility as the homeowner. Even though the sidewalks and curbs are located on the City right‐of‐way, the City will not take a report and will not repair them except in very special and limited circumstances, those being ‐ damage caused by a City hired contractor, damage caused by a garbage truck or City owned vehicle, ADA compliance for a disabled person living in the home or nearby using the sidewalk.
Along with the responsibility for maintenance comes the legal liability for anyone injured in an accident caused by the homeowner not keeping the curb or sidewalk in a safe condition. Each of us wants to keep the property in front of our homes safe for our families, friends, and neighbors.
If your home has a problem sidewalk that needs repairs, be aware that the City has fairly strict rules on who can do the work and how they can be repaired. The use of gravel or other fill materials is not an acceptable permanent substitute for reinforced concrete poured to City code.
The Good News!
On October 14, 2014, the Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committee received a report on a new program that allows private homeowners to use the city to hire a contractor to fix the sidewalks on their properties. In an attempt to gain economies of scale, the Public Works and Engineering Department has drafted a plan where citizens may apply online for a section of sidewalk to be built or repaired and pay for it themselves.
For reference, the estimated cost for 15 feet (three panels) of sidewalk is $800. The estimated cost for 60
feet (the length of a standard lot) is $5,200.
More information can be found here and http://www.publicworks.houstontx.gov/.