By Karen Morfitt

(CBS4) – For years, Jill Locantore has been documenting what she sees as a never-ending issue.

“Missing sidewalks, sidewalks that are broken and present a tripping hazard. Sidewalks that are too skinny to accommodate somebody in a wheelchair,” she said.

She’s director of the Denver Streets Partnership and is now leading the push to fix the city’s sidewalk problems by publicly funding buildout and repairs.

“The average single family household on a residential street would be paying about $100 per year, or about $9 per month,” she said.

Property owners are currently responsible for repairs, and in 2018 the city launched its Neighborhood Sidewalk Repair Program to inspect and ensure that sidewalks are being maintained.

But in 2020 — the same year that program was put on hold due the pandemic — the city auditor found the program was not effective and resulted in residents having “unequal access to safe and accessible sidewalks.”

In a statement, Nancy Kuhn, a spokeswoman for Denver’s Department of Transportation & Infrastructure, said the city is “actively exploring how best to retool the sidewalk repair program in order to speed up results.

“This includes hiring a contractor to do a citywide sidewalk condition assessment,” Kuhn said.

Locantore believes residents shouldn’t have to wait any longer for a solution.

“Now we are giving (it to) the voters of Denver to decide if sidewalks are a priority for our city,” she said.

The campaign Denver Deserves Sidewalks will need to get 10,000 signatures by July 5 in order to get the initiative on the ballot.

Karen Morfitt