El Sereno man issues a sidewalk SOS*

Watch your step on Cudahy Street/Billy Branch

Getting people to walk in L.A. is tough enough without buckled sidewalks like this nearly block-long stretch on Cudahy Street near Locke Avenue in El Sereno. Not only is the sidewalk buckled, but some chunks have broken off and slipped down a hillside. The sidewalk, which serves as one of the paths to nearby El Sereno Elementary, has been in this state for several years but an El Sereno resident has taken upon himself to finally get it fixed.

Billy Branch, who lives a block away from the crumbling sidewalk, took some photos and set up a Facebook page – Fix The Sidewalk on Cudahy – to attract attention to the problem. There’s no sidewalk on the other side of the street, so pedestrians walk on the street instead of venturing on the damaged sidewalk, which appears ready to slide down into a vacant lot.

“Part of the problem is that the sidewalk is at the top of a downslope/hill, so, you can’t just lay new sidewalk – it needs some serious ‘shoring up’ or some type of reinforcement below the sidewalk,” said Branch in an email.

Looks like that Facebook page is getting results.  A field deputy for Councilman Jose Huizar has contacted Branch about meeting at the sidewalk to discuss the problem. Stay tuned.

* Update: After meeting with a council office representative, Branch was told that  brush and trash debris was to be cleaned up and the whole sidewalk should be repaired within four weeks.

Missing sidewalk/Billy Branch


  1. Wow, and here I thought the sidewalk in front of my house was bad and fighting tooth and nail to get the city to fix it. 10 Years I’ve been living with broken sidewalks in front of my home and yet a new resident down the street gets their sidewalk repaved by the city when its not even 1/2 as damaged as mine. He must have been a city employee.
    guess i’ll start a Facebook page myself.

    • Wow, what a churlish response to a citizen activist doing something positive. And not even to benefit himself directly – note he lives a block away, so this appalling mess doesn’t even directly involve him. Kudos to Mr. Branch, and good luck!

  2. 50 year waiting list for sidewalk repair. No kidding. Nice job Tony Valar. lets keep giving public sector unions raises and electing people who are in their pockets.

    • Who is Tony Valar?

      This issue with sidewalks has been ongoing since the 1970’s.

      To wit, from Donald Shoup’s “Fixing Broken Sidewalks”:
      “Los Angeles followed the state code until 1973, when federal funds became available to repair sidewalks at no cost to property owners. Because of this federal funding, the city assumed responsibility for most sidewalk repairs. Three years later, when the federal funds ran out, Los Angeles was left with no sidewalk repair program. Then, in 1978, California voters adopted Proposition 13,which limited property tax rates, and public funds became even scarcer. By 1980 when the city attempted to reinstate the previous policy of citing property owners for damaged sidewalks and requiring them to pay for repairs, owners objected to the “new” mandate and the city halted citations. Because the city was short of money, it began to make only temporary asphalt patches to cracked sidewalks or — more often — did nothing at all. The resulting sidewalk decay led to the current state of serious disrepair.”

      Let’s see, 1973 … Yorty is out and Mayor Tom Bradley was sworn in in July of that year. Bradley presided over this problem until Richard Riordan sat on it from 1993 to 2001 when the reigns were handed over to James Hahn from 2001 to 2005. Now, don’t get me wrong, Villaraigosa saw this issue and kind of, sort of, maybe addressed it by considering doing what the current council is considering: borrowing shit tons of money to pay for long delayed routine maintenance instead of implementing a Point-of-Sale fee when homes get sold or levying property owners (as the city used to do prior to 1973).

      Please though, let’s hear more about this Valar fellow you speak about.

      • It’s a misspelling of Villar as in the original surname of Villaraigosa. The raigosa bit is his exwife’s surname that some of his detractors have dropped for him probably to tie him more closely with his MEChA past and also to make the nepotism more obvious.

        • “The nepotism”? What nepotism? Every mayor in a large american city has to deal with unions who not only donate campaign money but organize to get out the vote in their interests. To be able to ignore the unions you have to be incredibly rich or allied with some pretty rich interests – in either case you’re probably not any better than a totally sold-out-to-the-unions candidate.

          If we can be honest with ourselves and recognize that politicians are professional liars then maybe we can get beyond blaming only the last guy who is in office – and instead examine the history and ideas about local government that got us here.

          There are practical means of taking care of our sidewalks none of which require slinging mud at a termed out mayor.

          • I’m talking about actual nepotism as in hiring unqualified relatives. In this case it was his daughter, Marisela Villar, who was pulling down $68k even though she didn’t have the required degree or any pertinent experience for the job.

            Plus since he has his eye on national offices, remembering that he is a POS that ran the city into the ground and handed out favors to his friends and relatives with a complete disregard for his constituents is still somewhat important.

          • One question. Stay the course of electing “liars” as you put it? Or should we recognize the problem and try to fix it? This is not mud slinging; it is trying to educate people like you who have become completely complacent and accepting of this BROKEN SYSTEM!
            Wake up and start voting for the most qualified person. Not the one who is aligned with a dem or rep party and you happen to be.

          • I can clearly see now how having his daughter hired as a field representative and his ties to MECHA led to a continuation of the longstanding structural deficit of sidewalk maintenance in Los Angeles which began in the Bradley administration.

          • Wow. You answered just like a politician. A non-answer. No wonder you are so good at defending them…

      • Sorry, yes “Villar”. The former mayor who went by “Tony Villar” his entire life until he wanted to run for office and change it to “Antonio Villarrigosa” so he could win favor with the hispanic vote.

        You can try and deionized people who vote to keep more of their money by voting in sensible measures like prop 13. But, at the same time you should include the redundant unions that rape our city, county and state governments tax base.

  3. Ok, Y’all are steering away from the topic at hand. One other thing I have to say is that what is not right is that the city does little to repair our side walks in front of our homes which we pay taxes on an in fact is city property but if a person gets injured in front of our property because of these broken sidewalks we can get sued? Correct me if I’m wrong on this.

    • I’m pretty sure that the homeowner wouldn’t be liable if someone trips and falls on the sidewalk outside of his/her house, unless it can be proven that the homeowner did something to damage the sidewalk. Someone can try to sue for whatever they’d like, but I think it would be difficult to find an attorney to take the case on contingency.

  4. Wow, the city would never let that happen on the westside. Tweet Eric Garcetti!

  5. So, I don’t get it. The city has money to waste on this tree cutting / replacement project in Echo Park but they don’t have the money to come and cut some branches that are covering up the street lights in my neighborhood!!??? It’s so dark around here with the trees covering the street light. This is BS!

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