Slip and Trip: City partners with SPHS students to ID sidewalk fixes

October 20, 2010
Santa Paula News

In an effort to avoid slips and trips from walking on city sidewalks that need repair, the first phase of a new program was launched during the recent Santa Paula Beautiful clean-up.

According to Elisabeth Amador, assistant to City Manager Jamie Fontes, Slip and Trip involved Santa Paula High School Health & Human Services Academy students who worked with city staff to identify and mark sidewalks that present a hazard.

“It’s a new program” that Amador said utilized about 30 high school students who underwent training before the October 2 Santa Paula Beautiful clean-up. The students underwent two days of training to learn how to identify troubled pedestrian sidewalks around town, “those being lifted by tree roots or are not level and present a hazard.”

Amador said the students and city staff fanned out in the west and north sides of Santa Paula, as well as some central areas, spotting damaged sidewalks and marking them for repair with spray paint. The next step - which Amador expects to start at the end of October - is city repairs, “grinding or replacing the whole section, depending on how bad it is, and making sure those areas are repaired.”

Amador noted, “It’s a hazard for the public,” as well as “a liability issue for the city. Staff will be doing the simple repairs; we’ll try to use staff as much as possible,” although larger jobs might require a contractor.

Amador believes the funding for the repair work will come from the city’s new approximately $34 million utility bond, of which $5 million is dedicated to street repair. The Slip and Trip program will continue, with students being trained twice a year and then sent out on inspections with city staff.

Sidewalks throughout the city are showing signs of age, with wide cracks, holes and concrete jumps where they are lifted by tree roots. But, Amador said, all sidewalk problems are not that obvious: “If a gap is raised three-quarters of an inch that’s the benchmark... then it’s considered a trip hazard.”

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.