Not-So-Smooth Passage on the Sidewalks of L.A.

Question: Are Los Angeles sidewalks in bad shape?

Answer: Yes. According to the city, about half need some repair. Their condition has deteriorated over the years, the city said, because it hasn't had the money to make sufficient repairs.

Q: How long does it take for the city to make a sidewalk repair?

A: City officials said it can be years or even decades from the time a problem is first reported.

Q: What is the 50/50 program?

A: Residents who are willing to pay half the cost of a sidewalk repair move to the front of the line. The cost depends on the condition of the sidewalk but could run to a few thousand dollars. The city sees the program as a way to get dangerous sidewalks repaired more quickly.

Q: Are there critics?

A: Yes. Some say the program allows people with money to get their sidewalks repaired right away, while people who can't afford to pay have to wait.

Q: How can I get more information?

A: Call the city's Bureau of Street Services at (818) 374-6857 or go to:

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