South Park BID partners with the City of Los Angeles to successfully tackle ailing sidewalks in the booming downtown South Park area
BID-led effort resulted in elimination of 800 sidewalk trip hazards and repair of 50,000 square feet of sidewalks
February 26, 2015
Los Angeles, CA (February 2015) In a pioneering effort to provide a cleaner and safer pedestrian environment, the South Park Business Improvement (BID) presented the City of Los Angeles with a new approach to aggressively address the backlog of problems with city sidewalks, returning safety and accessibility to city residents and visitors. With dedicated assistance from Councilman José Huizar, the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, and the Bureau of Engineering and Bureau of Street Services, the BID was able to fund an entire pilot program, bringing 800 sidewalks locations up to City safety specifications and meeting the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“The South Park neighborhood is now a safer and more accessible place to live, work and play,” said Jessica Lall, Executive Director of the South Park Business Improvement District. “South Park is a unique neighborhood that attracts thousands of visitors, accommodates a hospital and an elementary school, and houses people of all age demographics. Because of these improvements, everything from strollers to wheelchairs are now able to move more easily; pedestrians can have a more enjoyable walking experience; and local businesses are more accessible.”
Outlining sidewalk repairs as a top priority in 2014, the South Park BID set out to find an affordable and sustainable approach that would have significant impact across the 32-block district. The BID discovered a program that utilized the latest technologies to identify sidewalk problems and quickly fix the sidewalk without complete demolition and replacement. The program used state-of-the-art software with GPS mapping, and patented technology to repair the existing infrastructure, reducing the amount of costly reconstruction. After commissioning and evaluating an in depth analysis of the district, the BID presented the City with a project description and scope.
“Once the South Park BID presented my office with their sidewalk project, I wanted to make sure we did everything possible to support this effort,” said Councilmember José Huizar of District 14. “The resulting public-private partnership is a powerful demonstration of what can be accomplished when the City and property owners work collaboratively toward a common goal. In facilitating this groundbreaking method, the BID has made a huge impact in one of Downtown’s fastest growing neighborhoods.”
The BID worked with the City on agreed upon standards and inspections for the repairs, as there was no existing permit for this kind of work. Additionally, the City Council waived excessive permit fees to ensure the project was affordable. A final report was approved by the Board of Public Works in December 2014, and work began in January 2015. The entire project was completed without closing sidewalks in less than 14 work days, and the BID received zero complaints during that time. The program resulted in an estimated cost savings of over $180,000 compared to other repair methods or replacement.
As the City looks for new avenues to repair 4,400 miles of broken and hazardous sidewalks, this model is one that can be replicated, if not used by the City itself.
“The South Park BID’s sidewalk repair program is sustainable, with scheduled periodic inspections and repairs to keep the sidewalks from falling back into disrepair,” said Board of Public Works President Kevin James.
South Park is one of Downtown’s fastest growing neighborhoods, being rejuvenated by new hotels, residential, and commercial developments. With over 20 projects in the pipeline to be built in the next 2-5 years, the BID aims to continue facilitating key projects that promote a vibrant, sustainable neighborhood. These projects include progressing a thriving public art program, installing parklets, greening of alleys, and planting more street trees.
The South Park Business Improvement District (BID) is a coalition of residents, property owners, and business who are deeply committed to the ongoing improvement of the district. Since 2005, the South Park BID has worked to make South Park safer, cleaner and more vibrant for the people who live, work and visit South Park.
For more information, visit www.southpark.la
South Park BID