Denver’s sidewalks plan could get postponed again. What does that mean for your broken sidewalk?

Short answer: You might be waiting a while.
2 min. read
Larry Leszczynski stands over the sidewalk outside of his Congress Park home that was fixed and then subsequently broken by garbage trucks. Aug. 24, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

A voter-approved plan to fix and build out Denver sidewalks might get postponed a second time, from July of this year to January of 2025.

City Council’s Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to move a bill pushing back the timeline to the full Council.

The program, which will levy a fee on property owners to raise money for sidewalks, was supposed to take effect in January of this year. But issues with the funding structure are pushing City Council to amend the plan and delay the rollout until next year.

You might be wondering: What about that broken sidewalk by your front yard?

The answer is that things could get worse before they get better. Residents won’t want to shell out money to fix their own sidewalks now that the city is taking responsibility and property owners are facing annual fees. But with the already-delayed roll-out of the program, the timeline to get that work started could get extended.

Nicholas Williams, deputy manager with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, said that the city has limited funds to fix the worst sidewalks. 

But if your sidewalk does not fall into that small category of worst offenders, you could be waiting a while. If the fees go into effect in January, it could take the city up to a year to just make a master plan deciding which areas of the city to prioritize.

It’s still unclear how long it will take to build out new sidewalks and fix broken ones across the entire city, or how officials will decide which areas to work on first.

Councilmember Chris Hinds supported the voter-approved initiative. He also uses a wheelchair and has worked on disability advocacy. He said he understood the need to postpone the fee, but did not promise to vote yes on the final bill.

“I’ll move this forward, I’m not excited about it,” Hinds said Tuesday.

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