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‘The difference is amazing:’ Homeowners ask for help getting city sidewalks fixed

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 2:52 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2021 at 6:49 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Homeowners in Church Hill reached out to 12 On Your Side asking for help getting a sidewalk in the 900 block on N. 37th Street repaired, after a woman tripped, fell and broke her knee.

Talisha Jones has lived in Church Hill for decades, and for months, she has been trying to get the sidewalk fixed right outside of her home on N. 37th Street.

“No response, no response,” Jones said when asked about reaching out to the City of Richmond. “I have been living around here maybe 40 years; I have been working on this off and on the last couple of years.”

A sidewalk in one Church Hill neighborhood was buckling, uneven and residents feared, not...
A sidewalk in one Church Hill neighborhood was buckling, uneven and residents feared, not safe. That's why the people who live on North 37th street called 12 On Your Side, after trying to get it fixed for months.(NBC 12 Viewer)

On Aug. 7, Jones says neighbors heard a commotion outside, and she walked out to see an accident on a rainy day. She ended up tripping and falling, breaking her knee from a fall on the uneven sidewalk that was also muddy from the rain. Doctors wrote Jones out of work for more than two months.

“The sidewalks are poor, they are so poor. I fell; I broke my knee. We are trying to get something done so this wouldn’t happen to someone else,” she said. “I have bills to pay, kids to take care of, just every day living - it is tough.”

Jones and her neighbors were also concerned about other people getting hurt, which is the reason they submitted photos through the RVA 311 System for repair.

“It worries me because we have a school, a senior home and a Boys and Girls Club in the area - it is a safety risk,” she explained.

The On Your Side Investigator Jasmine Turner reached out to the City of Richmond, including in an e-mail, a request from Jones:

“Could you please find it in your heart to come around here and fix these sidewalks.”

Turner received a response saying the Director of Public Works was aware of the issue. NBC12 later reached out directly to the Director of Public Works and days later, Jones sent a text saying work had started to repair the sidewalks. Jones says the work started early on a Sunday morning, and days later on a Tuesday, the sidewalk was repaired.

“Compared to what it was before, to what it is now, is amazing,” said Jones. “In the past, we have had trouble with people in wheelchairs not being able to use this sidewalk. I think it will be safer for them instead of having to go out and travel in the street - they can use the sidewalks to travel. It is a lot better.”

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