STOCKTON (CBS13) — On a week where the Stockton City Council approved spending $25 million on a new city hall, a local businessman says it should also spend money to fix its sidewalks that are in disrepair.
“So there’s plenty of cracks going on here,” Jacob Benguerel said.
Benguerel showed off the worst sidewalk spots on North California Street in Downtown Stockton where sections of the sidewalk double as a minefield of misfortune.
“We had problems with people stealing parking meters around downtown,” Benguerel said.
“They stole the parking meter, and no one ever covered up the hole?” CBS13’s Steve Large asked.
“Correct,” Benguerel said. “Just seeing the decay, scares people away.”
Avoiding holes, cracks, and crumbling concrete makes for a bit of a maze for pedestrians.
In some spots, the sidewalk holes are so big the city has put orange cones on top of them, but they still haven’t fixed the holes.
Benguerel says he emailed the city’s Public Works Department with a list of complaints, but received a letter back reading city code requires the sidewalk problem be fixed by building property owners.
“My response was to point out that they are the building owner and the property owner,” Benguerel said.
After that, Benguerel says he did not hear back from the city.
“I think it’s like the broken window theory; you have nice sidewalks, nice downtown, I think you’re going to attract more people that feel safer just that everything is well maintained,” Benguerel said.
A Stockton spokesperson tells CBS13 they are aware of Benguerels’s complaints and they are working through them. They also say repairing many sidewalk holes require the help of other agencies like utility companies.