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Sidewalks are a critical piece of our transportation system here in Mt. Lebanon. Whether they’re used for a child to get to school or for a resident to walk to public transit or for a client to get to a business, our sidewalk network must be kept in top shape. Our public works department has an important role to play—but so do you.
Inspect Your Sidewalks Regularly
All facilities, including sidewalks, require regular maintenance to reduce the damage caused over time by the effects of weather and use. On a regular basis home owners should inspect their sidewalks to determine if any of the following unsafe conditions are present:
- Step separation – A vertical displacement of ¾ inch or greater at any point on the walkway that could cause pedestrians to trip or prevent the wheels of a wheelchair or stroller from rolling smoothly;
- Badly cracked concrete – Holes and rough spots ranging from hairline cracks to indentations wider than 2 inches.
- Spalled areas – Fragments of concrete detached from the sidewalk slab;
- Settled areas that trap water – Sidewalk segments with depressions, reverse cross slopes, or other indentations that make the sidewalk path lower than the curb. These depressions trap silt and water on the sidewalk and reduce the slip resistant nature of the surface;
- Vegetation overgrowth – Ground cover, trees, or shrubs on properties or setbacks adjacent to the path that have not been pruned can encroach onto the path and create obstacles;
- Obstacles – Objects located on the sidewalk, in setbacks, or on properties adjacent to the sidewalk that obstruct the passage space.
- To report sidewalk hazards caused by Municipal street trees, go to myLebo.
As costs rise for everyone, including the municipality, it may in fact pay you to consider the do-it-yourself option, especially if it is a small job. If you have a large job, you may want to consider hiring a professional for the best results.
If you are doing any new or replacement work it is the responsibility of the homeowner and/or contractor to follow the Right-of-Way opening procedures and regulations. All work will be inspected by the Department of Public Works. You will need a Sidewalk Inspection to work in the Municipal right-of-way, as well as a set of sidewalk and driveway construction details. If you hire a contractor, the contractor will be responsible for obtaining the permit.
Sidewalk Expansion Policy
If you and your neighbors are hoping to increase the sidewalks in your area, we have a new policy to help you get moving!
On August 22, 2023, the Commission approved a process that should make it easier for residents to get sidewalks in their neighborhood. From the policy:
Property owners on municipally maintained streets without sidewalks may petition the municipality for financial support to install new sidewalks. Moreover, the municipality will continue to require sidewalk installation and replacement (at owner expense) in accordance with the provisions of Chapter XV, Streets and Sidewalks, Part 2, Sidewalk Construction, Repair and Maintenance, of the Mt. Lebanon Code and Home Rule Charter. Likewise, property owners may continue to install sidewalks without Municipal support according to current building codes and permitting procedures. Nothing in this policy is a waiver of these provisions.
Priority for new sidewalk installation will be given to streets that:
- Are proximate to public assets and common community destinations including, but not limited to: schools, parks and recreation areas, business districts, places of worship, public transportation stops, hospitals, post offices, or other government facilities; and
- 100 percent of the affected property owners agree to accept the new sidewalks, construction cost sharing, maintenance and replacement. Sidewalks will not normally be installed without 100% participation from the abutting owners. An agreement will normally be required before the municipality will proceed.
The policy outlines a procedure by which residents on municipally maintained streets without sidewalks may petition the municipality for financial support to install new sidewalks to connect to existing sidewalks.
Proposed areas for new sidewalks
More information is coming soon about how you can sign petitions to put sidewalks in your neighborhood if you are in one of the areas the Commission has targeted for new installations.
The Mt. Lebanon Police and School District have information on safewalking routes for school children here.