Sidewalk Maintenance

Sidewalks offer pedestrians safety and mobility, and help support an active community. That’s why it is so important to maintain sidewalks and ensure they are free from obstacles and other hazards. Things like broken sidewalk concrete or an overhanging branch can make it difficult for someone to maneuver and could lead to serious accidents and injuries.

In Happy Valley, the responsibility for repairing sidewalks and keeping them clear is that of the property owner. That means if you as a property owner neglect to repair your damaged sidewalk or fail to keep these areas clear of debris or other obstructions, you could be cited by a Community Service Officer for being in violation. It is important to note that a Community Service Officer will first talk with you about a concern before it reaches the level of receiving a citation. We would much rather see your efforts focused on remedying a problem and are happy to assist you in understanding the necessary steps toward compliance. Something to keep in mind, however, is you could be held liable for any accidents that occur should someone get hurt because of failing to keep these areas in good condition.

What contributes to sidewalk damage?

  • Natural weathering, such as ice or erosion
  • Tree roots pushing up and out of the pavement
  • Heavy foot traffic and general wear and tear
  • Improper installation or maintenance

Be on the lookout for tripping hazards, concrete that is breaking apart or cracking, and areas that show a tendency toward being unstable. These are all signs a problem may be on the horizon.

What should I do if I need to repair my sidewalk?

Get a permit – Before making a repair, you must apply for a Right of Way permit through the City’s Engineering Department. If damage to the sidewalk is due to a tree and the tree needs to be removed, then a Type A Tree Removal Application is also required.

Hire wisely – The City cannot endorse any business or person for work done on your property, but we highly encourage you to reach out to a professional with experience who can help you with a proper evaluation and diagnosis. Always seek out reputable professionals who are licensed to do business in Happy Valley as this increases your chances that repairs are done correctly.

Make sure sidewalks remain clear
Just as physical damage to a sidewalk can pose a challenge to livability, so can the effects of overgrown shrubs, branches, and other vegetation that encroach into walkable spaces and lines of sight. Keep hedges, grass, weeds, and other materials out of the walkway.

By taking the time to ensure your property’s sidewalks are clear, you’ll help contribute to a neighborhood that is more accessible for everyone and encourages safe habits.

Keep in mind there are some other great benefits to maintaining a safe and secure sidewalk, so it’s worth your while to take care of any issues. These include enhanced property value, increased curb appeal, and an improved aesthetic which ultimately makes the city a more attractive place to live, work, and visit.

Questions about sidewalk maintenance or have a concern about damaged sidewalk in the City? Contact us at 503-783-3800 to speak with a Community Service Officer.