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Denver Ramps Up Sidewalk Inspections, Residents Foot Bill For Repairs

DENVER (CBS4) - Starting this month, certain neighborhoods around Denver will see city workers inspecting their sidewalks and looking for hazards. The city wants to make walkways safer.

Denver homeowners are responsible for the repair and maintenance of sidewalks near their properties. That's always been the case. What's new is the city's desire to suddenly have them all fixed.

"We're a growing city and we're trying to give people other options to get around town," said Denver Public Works spokeswoman Nancy Kuhn. "This program is addressing those hazardous sidewalks and making it easier to get around."

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The Neighborhood Sidewalk Repair Program requires property owners to fix what they're already responsible for -- the gaps, the cracks and any other damage that could trip someone up.

"The sidewalks have been a bad problem for a really long time," Capitol Hill neighborhood resident Scott Sherter said.

Neighbors are glad the city recognizes the problem, but they didn't expect them to see it as their problem.

"If you're a homeowner you're going to fund 100 percent of the cost. Even if the damage was done by a garbage truck, or old trees with the roots pushing up, you're going to pay for it," Sherter said.

(credit: CBS)

The City estimates the majority of repairs will cost under $1,000, and they're offering discounts for owners who qualify. But neighbors still believe it shouldn't be their burden to begin with.

"They are public property, shouldn't there be a little bit of financial help from the city?" Sherter said.

Once a homeowner gets a notice, the city will give 45 days to fix a sidewalk.

If a resident chooses to ignore it, the city will come out and fix it. But the homeowner should expect a bill not long afterwards.

The Neighborhood Sidewalk Repair Program divides the city into 11 regions, completing one region each year. The first will focus on central Denver.

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