SAN ANTONIO – A majority of funding for city sidewalks isn't being spent on building sidewalks, District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino said.
"We have an over 2,000-mile gap in sidewalks and that's not even counting the sidewalks we need to fix,." Trevino said.
Trevino said he knows the sidewalk issue is important to the city, and he's looking for a way the city can double the amount of sidewalk construction with existing funds.
"We're only doing 30 percent of our budget towards actual sidewalks, 70 percent ancillary," he said. "So what I think we can do is flip that. Do twice the amount of capacity in the past, and have more sidewalks in our city.
"Right now, 70 percent of the city's budget for sidewalks goes towards things like retaining walls, irrigation systems, even curbs and gutters."
The plan went before the city's Transportation Committee on Monday afternoon.
Transportation and Capital Improvements director Mike Frisbie said the committee is working with Trevino to get more sidewalks, but it may not be able to completely flip-flop where the funds are spent because there still needs to be funding for other projects, such as making driveways compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
"You got the cost of the sidewalk itself," Frisbie said. "There's also other costs associated with it, (such as) traffic control for safety. Sometimes, the driveways in a lot of cases aren't ADA-compliant for the sidewalks."
The committee is hoping to come up with a plan sometime next month.
For Derek Guzman, a San Antonio resident who walks 4 miles to and from work every day, Trevino's plan can't come soon enough.
"There's plenty of times that I just walk on the street because the sidewalk is completely missing, or it's just basically rubble," Guzman said. "So, it can be more hazardous, especially if there's ice or rain."