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Atlanta sidewalk system 'broken' | News

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Atlanta sidewalk system 'broken'

ATLANTA-- An advocacy group is taking aim at Atlanta's sidewalks.

On Monday, PEDS will push Atlanta City Council to put sidewalk maintenance into the city budget. They say Atlanta's sidewalks are dangerous and ripe for lawsuit.

Just around the corner from their Midtown office, PEDS, a pedestrian advocacy group, points to the sidewalk at 17th and Peachtree Circle. It bucks up over large tree roots. Portions of the sidewalk are cracked and missing. They use it as an example of sidewalks in disrepair all over the city.

"We have a major task ahead of us in bringing these sidewalks up to standard," said PEDS project coordinator Joanna Pritchard.

11Alive viewers sent in pictures of the worst sidewalks in their Atlanta neighborhoods.

It's why PEDS is pushing Atlanta City Council to make sidewalk repair a line budget item in every budget going forward.

Right now, sidewalk repair comes out of the public works budget. An audit of the city's infrastructure estimates 25 percent of sidewalks and curbs need to be replaced or repaired. It would cost an estimated $152 million.

Currently, property owners adjacent to sidewalks are technically responsible for their upkeep, but PEDS says it doesn't work and, since sidewalks are city property, the city should step up.

"It's difficult to handle repairs on a piecemeal basis," Pritchard said.

Just this May, the city of Atlanta paid out $3 million in a lawsuit filed by a blind man injured on this sidewalk. Another lawsuit was settled for $1.14 million after a woman caught her heel in another crumbling sidewalk.

The city set aside half a million dollars to fix some of the city's worst sidewalks. But, as pictures from 11Alive viewers point out, after years of neglect, the fix-it list is long.