West Side residents say aging sidewalks are becoming dangerous

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — They're falling through the cracks.

People living in Kansas City's West Side neighborhood complain their sidewalks are unsafe in many locations, and in turn, causing people to get hurt while tripping over jagged concrete.

Walk down many streets west of Interstate 35, and you'll see sidewalks in disrepair. People who live in the West Side say their streets aren't safe to walk on, and they want to know why city officials aren't helping more.

West Side sidewalks in rough shape.

West Side sidewalks in rough shape.

When it comes to his neighborhood, Leopold Arzola, 83, doesn't mince words. The Kansas City native says he's lived on the city's West Side all his life. Arzola says poorly maintained sidewalks are more than an eyesore—they're unsafe.

Arzola says he often sees his neighbors stumbling over the separating hunks of decaying sidewalks, and the grassy patches that used to be firm surfaces. He says he's called the city many times, but nothing's happening.

"I told them there was a traffic problem," Arzola said. "(The sidewalks) are the originals. They've been here 80 years or whatever. I was born here, so I know they're the originals."

However, city codes say upkeep of sidewalks isn't a municipal responsibility. Sean Demory, spokesperson for KCMO's Department of Public Works, tells FOX 4 News property owners are required to take responsibility for their sidewalks.

Giancarlo Basurto works in an office on Southwest Boulevard. He says the sidewalks on restaurant row look nothing like the ones in residential areas, where people are risking injury.

"(City officials) need to come and see it for themselves," Basurto said. "They need to invest some money in this area. This is a nice area. You can see a lot of business, and a lot of traffic, Why not make it better?"

Demory also tells FOX 4 News residents can request assistance by calling 3-1-1. If the city chooses to apply public money toward repairing their sidewalks, residents will be billed for the work over a 15-year period.