Sidewalks are durable, but they definitely break down over time. Temperature changes can cause cracks to spread. Tree roots can push pieces of cement higher than those next to them or literally break tiles in half.
It is a slow process, but anyone who runs, pushes a stroller or just walks on the sidewalks of Maricopa knows that there are plenty of trip hazards out there. If no one addresses them, the problem just gets worse from year to year. So, who is supposed to fix them?
As in many cities, the job does not typically fall on the homeowners, but on the city itself. Maricopa has a Street Services Division that carries out this work. They repair and maintain both the public roads and the sidewalks around town.
That said, the SSD cannot physically cover all of the area that they maintain on a consistent basis to find out where work is needed. As such, they do ask homeowners to help. In a statement on the government website, they note that “We rely on our residents to assist us by reporting areas in need of repair and potholes.”
It’s also worth noting that this type of slow damage is not the only risk people face. A homeowner could damage a sidewalk while pouring a new driveway or while doing certain types of landscaping. The actions people take — or the reports they neglect to make — can certainly make it more dangerous to use city sidewalks.
Those who suffer injuries in resulting trip-and-fall accidents need to know all of the legal options they have.