Nearly all of Gilroy’s 192 miles of public sidewalks are in good condition. But the roughly six miles of walkways that need to be repaired would cost the city $7.7 million over a period of 15 years.
The Gilroy City Council on Jan. 24 received the results of a sidewalk survey it commissioned in mid-2020. At that time, a split council approved a $142,890 contract with StreetScan Inc., which used video and artificial intelligence to assess sidewalk and curb ramp conditions throughout the city.
The inspection was conducted in the fall of 2021, according to city engineer Gary Heap.
A map prepared by StreetScan shows the majority of Gilroy’s sidewalks are rated either “excellent” or “good.” However, the conditions deteriorate in the older portions of the city, primarily in the residential areas around downtown.
Gilroy’s sidewalk repair program, which began in 1994, assists property owners with the cost of maintaining their sidewalks, including 100% of city tree-related expenses. Heap said the program typically burns through its funding relatively quickly every year, and currently has a backlog of more than 30 requests.
According to Heap, most of the damage found in the inspection was caused by roots from city trees, raising portions of the sidewalk and resulting in tripping hazards.
Heap said city staff will bring back a plan for council approval later this year that will address repairing swaths of sidewalks in an efficient manner.