The sidewalks in Los Angeles have become a symbol of a deteriorating public infrastructure. The estimate is $1.5 billion to repair 10,000 miles of sidewalks. But now there may be a $10 million study to see what really needs to be done.

The debate over how to fix the sidewalks and who should be responsible for the bill has been raging for seven years. Among the proposals is a shift from the city to property owners, and even a shift from the state to the city via mandate. But the latest idea – that’s triggering the inventory study – would ask taxpayers to place the burden on themselves via bond measure.

Conducting the survey could take as long as three years, and crews scour the city’s entire sidewalk system. 42 percent of the city’s sidewalks that are believed to need replacement. Experts would also look at green-scaping, gutters, and ramps to determine what meets standards and what needs to be replace.

Where the sidewalks are bad, they are often impassable, as one radio host said, “you need a Sherpa and climbing rope” to walk them. The city hasn’t spent any money on the issue since 2007, when it spent $6 million to rebuild 26 miles of sidewalk.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Across the street from the Hollywood Trader Joe’s, the sidewalk is so buckled that a small briefcase could be stored underneath the concrete. A second, in Boyle Heights, juts so high above the curb that it could be a skateboard ramp.

A third, on Hoover Street in Silver Lake, has so many cracks it looks more like a mosaic than a public walkway.

Read the full article here.