Keeping Sidewalks Safe
The Capital Projects Division of Public Works oversees all curb and sidewalk improvements by The Sidewalk Group. These improvements include both small spot repairs and entire block replacements.
Call the Sidewalk Group at (816) 513-4701.
- Need to report a problem?
Use 311 to report a problem about a sidewalk, curb or driveway
GO KC Sidewalk Program
In August 2017, City Council approved a new sidewalk program to evaluate, repair and replace sidewalks. The goal of the program is the completion of two citywide inspection cycles over the 20 years of the infrastructure bonds program.
To learn more about the GO KC Sidewalk Program, see the Sidewalk Program FAQs.
Spot Repair Sidewalk Program
Our spot repair sidewalk program was previously supported by assessments on adjoining property owners. Because of the GO Bonds, the City has forgiven any outstanding assessments to help those who will pay the new tax.
The sidewalk inspection process will begin with construction of a shovel-ready backlog of spot repairs. Entire blocks will be inspected as backlog spot repairs are made to ensure neighbors can safely traverse the block. If a block is identified as needing full sidewalk replacement—not simply a repair—it will be included in the systematic sidewalk program.
- The KCMO City Council approved the first two contracts for the first round of backlog spot repairs in December 2018.
- Many repairs have since been completed or are underway:
- 79 blocks of sidewalk and 241 ADA corner ramps were completed in GO KC Year-One (2018)
- 15 of 89 blocks of sidewalk are completed for GO KC Year-Two (2019)
- You can also view the current Sidewalk Repair Map to track progress.
About Trees and Sidewalks
Tree roots routinely damage sidewalks, while sidewalks can inhibit tree health and growth. To ensure that trees and integrity of sidewalks are protected, the KCMO Public Works Department works closely with the City Forester in the Parks and Recreation Department.
The condition of the trees and mitigation options are carefully considered before any repairs are begun. Additionally, Parks and Recreation has implemented a tree-replanting program, where two new trees are planted for every tree removed in the city right of way. It’s a great way to keep our sidewalks safe and usable, while enhancing the environment for all to enjoy.
New Systematic Sidewalk Inspection Program
Approved by KCMO City Council in August 2017, the Systematic Sidewalk Inspection Program uses a data-driven points system to prioritize inspections. The points system was developed through meetings with Councilman Scott Wagner’s sidewalk working group and other stakeholder groups, and is informed by the success other municipalities have had using a similar process.
Three design inspection contracts are currently underway to inspect 550 miles of sidewalk across the City in 2019-2020.
How Inspection Points Are Assigned
- Schools (8 points)
- Libraries (8 points)
- Community Centers (8 points)
- Hospitals and Safety Net Providers (8 points)
- Median Household Income (3, 5, 8 points)
- Transit Stops (3, 5, 8 points)
- Parks (5 points)
- Grocery Stores/Markets (5 points)
- Arterial Streets (5 points)
- Vehicle Access (3, 4, 5 points)
- Population Density (1-5 points)
- Employment Density (1-3 points)
- Transportation Terminals (1 point)
This map shows how sidewalk inspection is prioritized using data points:
311 Sidewalk Repair Requests
The new inspection process identifies needed repairs so that property owners no longer need to report repair needs. Any concerns about sidewalks, curbs or driveways can still be reported using 311. The sidewalk inspection group notes any requests and includes them in the citywide inspection process. While a 311 request may not generate an immediate inspection or repair, all reports are reviewed and prioritized according the points that are assigned.
Connectivity Gaps in New Sidewalks
It sometimes happens that sidewalks have not yet been constructed in priority areas where they are needed. To speed and streamline the process in such circumstances, projects may be funded at 50% with a 50% match from funds such as: PIAC, adjacent property owners, grants, other government funding districts as approved by the KCMO City Council. New sidewalks in newly developed areas continue to be required under the City’s development code. The new sidewalk program does not impact that requirement.
Workforce Development Opportunities
KCMO continues to pursue opportunities through SLBE and is developing a new local workforce apprenticeship program for sidewalk projects. If you’d like to learn more about this program, please contact the Sidewalk Group at 816-513-4701.