Reponse to 'Broken Sidewalks'

Dear Editor:The City of Downey Public Works Department would like to express its appreciation to Mr. Lucas ("Broken Sidewalks," Letter to the Editor, 1/12/12) for the positive feedback regarding recent sidewalk repairs in the westerly half of Downey and the information regarding additional, needed concrete repairs. The Public Works Department faces the constant task of maintaining the public right-of way which includes over 220 miles of paved streets, 440 miles of curb and gutter, over 7 million square feet of sidewalk, and over 17,000 parkway trees. The City has systematically implemented a Concrete Repair Program (Program) that primarily repairs damaged sidewalks, driveway approaches, curbs and gutters, and other concrete improvements citywide. The goal of the Program is to service Downey's residents and businesses by repairing damaged concrete within the public right-of-way (with the funds available) to increase public safety. In order to implement a methodical and efficient Concrete Repair Program, the City was divided into four areas (areas "A" through "D") and each fiscal year (July 1 through June 30), concrete repairs are performed within one or two of those areas. As part of this process, Public Works staff reviews service requests provided by residents and/or other means including City reviews. Identified concrete repair locations are evaluated and selected by a priority based system which includes various criteria such as "health and safety ranking", extent of structure damage, vicinity to major pedestrian traffic generator center (schools, hospitals, apartments…). However, due to difficult economic conditions and constrained funding, repair of all known damaged concrete improvements is extremely difficult. Approximately $200,000 in Gas Tax funds (revenue from the State's gasoline tax regulated for public right-of way improvements) and TDA Article 3 funds (revenue from Article 3 of the State's Transportation Development Act for bicycle and pedestrian facility projects) are budgeted each fiscal year to fund the Concrete Repair Program and new improvements. This level of funding allows the City to repair or improve approximately 150 to 175 locations each fiscal year. Currently, approximately 780 known locations require some form of repair/improvement throughout the City. Therefore, based on available funds, it would take several years to address the currently identified repair locations. In the current fiscal year, $278,000 was budgeted for the Program and as a result, approximately 174 locations have been repaired. Public Works staff is currently planning repair locations in areas "A" and "B", (easterly half of Downey), for the next fiscal year. The City encourages residents and business owners to inform the Public Works Department of concrete repair locations. Residents and business owners may submit their concerns in person at City Hall, by visiting the City of Downey website (, or by calling (562) 904-7110. The Public Works Department will continue to service the needs of the City as intended and the public's contributions and cooperation are welcomed and greatly appreciated. -- Louis A. Atwell, Deputy Director of Public Works

********** Published: January 26, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 41