The Undergraduate Student Government Senate passed Tuesday night a resolution that could potentially lead to a complete renovation of the sidewalks in and around The Row. The resolution is a result of the high number of injuries that occur on The Row.
The resolution, “28th Street Sidewalk Project,” passed unanimously. According to Greek Senator Alex Cascante, who spearheaded the writing of the resolution, this moment has been a long time coming. Streets expected to be repaired are the sidewalks on 28th Street from Hoover Street to Figueroa Street and University Avenue from 28th Street to 32nd Street.
“Every Greek Senator before me for the past five or so years has been wanting to fix these sidewalks, but nobody really delved into the issue,” Cascante said. “They all hit the same wall: the sidewalks are owned by the city, the city has no money, and they’re not going to pay for it.”
Cascante conducted a survey during the Fall 2012 semester. He obtained over 100 written student testimonies stating injury as a result of the damaged sidewalks.
“I realized just because the city has no money, that shouldn’t stop this project,” Cascante said. “The big obstacle … was realizing there was an alternative method, which is private funding.”
“The sidewalk poses a serious risk to students, to the school. It’s a huge liability issue. But parents or alumni don’t realize this problem exists … I’m going to reach out to alumni and parent associations, inform them of the issue. It’s up to them from there,” Cascante said.
According to Cascante, part of the problem stems from the area’s dense population of students. 2,724 undergraduates students currently live in the area, he said.
Some students have been overwhelmingly supportive of the sidewalk renovation initiative.
Kamal Bairagdar, a master’s degree candidate for civil engineering, is enthusiastic about the project.
“The Row is an extension of the university campus itself. Students live on it, spend a lot of time on it. We need to take care of the students,” Bairagdar said.
Kristyn Ikeda, a junior majoring in business administration, was more wary of the project, citing potential conflicts.
“The renovation project will cause a lot of logistical problems,” Ikeda said. “Streets might close down, and it will be hard to have a lot of parties with construction going on. I think there are probably better causes to fundraise for that deal with student life.”
Despite the possible difficulties, Cascante remains optimistic of the steps to rebuild the sidewalks along The Row.
“It might not be something that will be accomplished come May, but it will be done eventually because I will help future Senators,” Cascante said.