Mayor proposes millions to fix backlog of required sidewalk repairs

Mayor Gray’s proposed 2015 budget and six-year capital improvement plan call for significant funding for sidewalk repairs over the next three years, a welcome proposition for pedestrians. The mayor has allotted nearly $5.5 million to repair and maintain curbs and sidewalks in fiscal year 2015. In addition, the capital budget proposes spending $7.5 million, $13.3 million and $7.2 million respectively in 2015, 2016 and 2017 for curb and sidewalk rehab, according to John McGaw, director of the capital improvements program.

 “We would like to recognize the mayor for making progress toward addressing the backlog in sidewalk investment needs,” PAC chairman Jason Broehm said. PAC has been pushing for months for the city to address the estimated $22-28 million backlog in unmet sidewalk repairs. In the weeks ahead, PAC members will engage in conversations with DC council members about the importance of this funding.

The 2015 budget also calls for an increase in spending on the Automated Traffic Enforcement program, which includes cameras that catch motorists speeding, running red lights and failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Budget documents released April 3 proposed a budget increase of $4.1 million in 2015 for automated traffic enforcement.  The PAC strongly supports this programs because of the demonstrated safety benefits.
The DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment will hold its District Department of Transportation budget hearing on Tuesday, April 29 at 11 a.m. in the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Room 500. Anyone wishing to testify at the hearing about the importance of safe sidewalks and curbs should sign up to do so by contacting Aukima Benjamin at abenjamin@dccouncil.us or by calling 202-724-8062.

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