Broken Sidewalks: It's Not Broke, So Why the Fix?

An Ormewood Park resident received one of the letters from the Atlanta Department of Public Works that says his sidewalk needs repair. But a photograph of the pathway in question, suggests otherwise.

Dear Editor:

Here's my sidewalk at 833 Gilbert St. The city says it needs $1,000 in repairs, and the curb needs $3,000 in repairs, and it needs to be done in 45 days, or they'll fix it and send me the bill. (Broken Sidewalks Build Pathways to Controversy, Feb. 8, 2013).

The sidewalk is in good condition and the curb is buried underneath layers of pavement, courtesy of Public Works.

When has Public Works gotten anything done in 45 days?

Ken Boff,

Ormewood Park

Chris Murphy February 12, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Ken, I have a similar situation just down the street from that property. The figures on the letter were wrong with regards to street frontage and driveway width and length, plus the (supposedly) granite curbs were buried under mounded asphalt meant to replace their function, most likely by the City or its contractor years ago. It's obvious that no 'inspector' actually "inspected." That said, I'll be sending in a letter to them stating my findings, and requesting an inspection when I can be there. The curbs on your property were buried about 10 yrs. ago, when new gas and utility conduit was run up the strip a'twixt the street and sidewalk. Those contractors left an eroding mess everywhere they went, and the City never followed up on our complaints to restore the properties back to original condition. Per usual fashion back then, even record of the complaints were 'lost.'
dina b February 12, 2013 at 03:42 PM
This is terrible. I hope it works out in your favor. There appears to be nothing wrong with your sidewalk. A few years ago, the city created curbs and wheelchair accessible cuts at the ends of our sidewalk, because they wanted to. They did a poor job and had to return to fix it. The concrete they placed has cracked in several places and we have patched it as best we could, but we suspect that the curbs were created improperly and that this is the cause of the cracks. Does anyone else see this sidewalk billing as a way for the city to get money for doing repairs it normally would do from it's own budget?
Jason in GP February 12, 2013 at 03:51 PM
There are some horrible sidewalks in SE Atlanta - throughout the city, actually. This isn't one of them.
Rach February 13, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Yes, what Jason said. In particular, in Ormewood Park neighborhood, there are many, many portions of sidewalk that either disappear entirely, or become rubble-strewn piles of fallen tree branches and leaves, only to reappear 1 or 2 houses later. Inspectors need to visit Berne, Delaware, Underwood, Woodland, Ormewood Ave, and East Confederate in particular - these are the main streets, and all have portions where pedestrians find discontinuous or blocked sidewalks. There are a few of those situations on Gilbert as well - but this isn't one of them.


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