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Boston sidewalk repairs to focus on previously underserved neighborhoods

‘Sidewalk equity’

Jorge Salcedo/Shutterstock

Boston is committing $2 million in its spring capital budget to reconstruct sidewalks on streets that cross Humboldt Avenue in Roxbury.

The move is part of a wider push for what analysts and experts call “sidewalk equity”—making sure that such rights of way are up to snuff in all parts of a city regardless of a part’s socioeconomic straits.

In Boston, such equity has been hard to come by. In fact, there appears to have been outright neglect on the part of the city in some areas, leading to banged-up, harder-to-maneuver sidewalks in neighborhoods such as Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan compared with smoother, breezier sidewalks in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and Downtown.

A recent analysis of city data showed that 65 percent of Roxbury and Dorchester sidewalks were in no better than fair condition. In Downtown Boston and Back Bay, 68 percent of sidewalks were in good condition.

This disparity arose—and persisted—despite repeated repair requests to the city from residents and business owners, according to the Globe’s Meghan E. Irons.

The equity effort this spring likely represents a tipping point as far as repairs go and follows the city’s review of 1,600 miles of Boston sidewalks last year.