Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sidewalk Repair Downtown

Walkability is a synonym for accessibility

By Tim Wheat

The sidewalk repair program downtown does not seem to use the Americans with Disabilities Act to justify spending money to make the city more accessible. The draft submitted to the Downtown Memphis Commission last night mentions safety, appearance and property values but does not talk about access or the ADA.

No-interest loans for sidewalk repair are available from the Downtown Memphis Commission board with a non-refundable seventy-five dollar fee. Downtown Memphis approved a $50,000 revolving loan fund to repair sidewalks from A.W. Willis on the north to M.L. King Boulevard on the south, west of Danny Thomas. The loans are limited to $5,000, but are expected to average about $1,000 and will be available through June 30, 2019.

A recent blight survey found more than 90 parcels that appear to violate city standards for sidewalks. The City of Memphis Ordinance makes property owners responsible for maintaining the sidewalk on their property. Memphis officials believe an incentive would entice owners to do the right thing and improve the walkability of downtown.

Following is a link to the Board Review Draft of the proposal with the application and map.