How are these things picked anyway? Westlake residents question sidewalk repair program

WESTLAKE, Ohio -

Westlake neighbors are confused about, of all things, sidewalks. The city says sections are unsafe and need to be replaced, but, as we found out, something's wrong with the way it's being done.

"We were driving along, my daughter and I, with the stroller and that's a good test,” said Lori Adamo, who has lived in her Westlake neighborhood for more than years.

She and her neighbors have noticed pink X's on sidewalks marked by the city telling homeowners they have to repair the sidewalks.

"If they want to fix it, that's okay, but if they want to charge us, maybe it's not fair,” said Westlake resident Subhi Mahmoud. “I've been here 20 years and we pay a lot of taxes, too, you know."

Not only that but neighbors are wondering how some slabs, like ones with crazy overgrowth and gaps, don't get marked and others in decent shape get an X.

"In some places, it's not accurate,” said Adamo.

"I don't know that would be the case,” said Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough. It was his initial reaction to the concerns we brought to him.

This is the first year for the aggressive program set to mark all of the city's problem sidewalks.

"We generally hire engineering students during the summer time to go out and inspect the sidewalks," explained Mayor Clough.

We hit the neighborhoods, too, and when we pointed out X's on minor cracks and no X's on bigger cracks; X's on slabs with indented water access grates, but no X’s on one complete with overgrowth and an open hole in the middle;  and other discrepancies,  Mayor Clough said neighbors should call the city engineer.

"They should bring that to our attention because we're not perfect," he said. "We could have missed a block."

In just a few minutes of looking at the sidewalks, we found several questionable markings or lack thereof.

The mayor said if people still have questions after calling the engineer, he promised action himself. "Call my office and, if I have to go out, I'll take a look."

Adamo told News 5 she likes the idea of making sidewalks safer, but she would like to have the selection process be more consistent.

Mayor Clough said homeowners have 30-days to repair the marked sidewalks.

If the deadline is missed, then the city will repair them and bill the owners.

Westlake does have a payment plan option if you need it.

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