After years of complaints from residents and businesses about crumbling sidewalks, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a $1.4 billion citywide sidewalk repair program, with rebates for residents and businesses that repair sidewalks on their own.

The program represents a unique split-responsibility approach, with the city assuming most repair costs for the next 30 years and then turning over complete responsibility for repairs to adjacent residential or commercial property owners.

“For decades, Los Angeles lacked a coherent plan to deal with crumbling sidewalks in our neighborhoods,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, chairman of the council’s budget committee. “That’s all changing with Safe Sidewalks LA, an equitable and sustainable plan to repair every sidewalk in the city that needs it.”

The repair program has a carrot for property owners who take the initiative and pay for sidewalk repairs during the next three years: homeowners can receive up to a $2,000 rebate from the city, while commercial property owners can receive up to a $4,000 rebate. Rebate applications will be accepted starting Thursday.

In addition, residents and commercial property owners can call the city’s 3-1-1 hotline to requests repairs for particularly degraded sidewalks and to install or repair access ramps for disabled pedestrians.

Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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