Sidewalk Responsibilities

I just read this article in the Seattle Times about how starting this month, the sidewalks in front of a property is the home owner’s responsibility for maintaining.

"Lots of people are surprised they are responsible, and then there is the reality of how to pay for sidewalk repair when you are strapped with all kinds of other maintenance needs," said Liz Ellis, with the Seattle Department of Transportation Sidewalk Safety Repair Program….

"Generally the city has an easement, but the property itself belongs to the homeowner," said Gregg Hirakawa, spokesman for Seattle’s Department of Transportation.

The easement’s there so the public can traverse what’s actually private property."


  1. We were going to post about this article ourselves. Personally, we’re annoyed by this revelation. Seems like one more reason for people to avoid planting trees anywhere near sidewalks – which is a tough thing to do on some of the small-sized lots so common here in the city. And what about corner lots with sidewalks on two (or more) sides? Double the liability. Great! Perhaps the solution is to just tear the concrete out and get back to grassy paths???? Is that better than a cracked or raised sidewalk? (OK, off soapbox now.)

  2. WSB, I think you should still publish it…you have way more readers than BDB does and they should know about this (rediculous) liability. I had to bite my lip (or typing fingers) since I read this on the heals of typing about bicyclist on the sidewalks. Seems to me if home owners are responsible and liable for sidewalk safety…we should have some say in who and how the sidewalks are used? ARGH…you got me going now!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.