No one is tripping anymore on the sidewalk in front of Station Street’s Unique Home Health Care.
A work crew from the City of Duncan repaired the sidewalk, which had subsided in some sections, creating ridges that became a tripping hazard for pedestrians, shortly after Marsha Todd, who owns the health care company located at 121 Station St., raised concerns about it in October.
In October, Todd said the ridges were only about one inch high at their highest point, but she saw people trip over them every day.
Todd called the city, and work crews were quickly on site, but all that was done was the workers painted the ridges green to make pedestrians aware of them.
Brian Murphy, Duncan’s director of public works and engineering, said at the time that city workers had been on site and the measurements for the sidewalk cracks did not meet the criteria for any immediate attention.
“These cracks have been marked with paint for added safety and may be further addressed when resources permit,” he said in October.
But Todd said the repairs occurred soon after that.
“I’m glad the problem was dealt with,” she said.
In recognition of such concerns, the city’s council changed its policy on sidewalk repairs at its meeting on Jan. 16 to deal with damaged sidewalks more efficiently after they have been identified.
Murphy told council that the city’s policy for sidewalk inspections and maintenance, which was last amended in 2012, was highly consistent with similar policies from other municipalities, and with the standard municipal risk-management approach.
He said the long-time policy stated that when ridges of one-half inch to an inch form on sidewalks, the defects were identified and placed on a list for follow-up at the next scheduled inspection, which means they were monitored but not repaired.
Murphy said, in recognition of the importance of specific downtown streets and the associated high pedestrian traffic on them, the policy has now been amended to direct that repairs be completed for any similar defects on sidewalks in busy pedestrian corridors in the downtown core within four months of being identified.
“It is anticipated that a manageable number of additional sidewalk cracks would be identified annually for repair under these criteria, with more repairs being required the first year of application than in subsequent years,” he said.