BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Residents in a Baltimore neighborhood are at war with City Hall. They’re angry over thousands of dollars in sidewalk repair citations.
Adam May discovers homeowners aren’t the biggest offenders. It’s actually the city.
Ronald Munk is furious with City Hall after inspectors said he needs to pay $650 to replace his section of sidewalk.
“If you’re gonna trip over it, you need to pick up your feet,” Munk said. “There’s a lot worse sidewalks.”
More than a dozen residents in the Lakeland neighborhood got citations.
Jim Breakwell says his wife, who uses a walker, has no problem with the slight bump on their sidewalk. He says the sidewalk is raised roughly half an inch.
Plus, the citations are based on square footage. Breakwell is a cabinet maker, who uses a ruler daily, and he says inspectors want to fine him too much money.
He says the city even measured it wrong in his citation.
And what really has neighbors crying foul is a city-owned sidewalk across the street. It is broken up so badly that grass is growing up between the cracks.
WJZ showed pictures of the difference between the cited sidewalks and the crumbling city sidewalks to officials with the transportation department.
When asked if the comparison seems right, Adrienne Barnes of the Department of Transportation said “No it doesn’t. It doesn’t. You’re right.”
WJZ’s questions are now prompting a review of the citations while city officials stand by their goal.
“We want people to be able to travel safely, and we don’t want children hurt on damaged or cracked sidewalks,” Barnes said.
“We’re poor, hard working people, disabled people. Just leave us alone. We don’t have the money,” Munk said.
Baltimore residents can expect an increase in sidewalk citations as we head into the summer construction season.