The Baltimore City Department of Transportation, Footway Section is responsible for repairing or replacing defective sidewalks throughout the City of Baltimore. The goal of this section is to make the city’s sidewalks safe for pedestrians and to help prevent injuries that may be caused by faulty footways. Footways Section replaces approximately 300,000 square feet of footways each year.
Many citizens have questions regarding who is responsible for the maintenance of city sidewalks. According to Baltimore City Code, Article 26, Subtitle 10, property owners are responsible for maintaining their footways. In addition to keeping sidewalks free from ice and snow, residents are responsible for repairing their sidewalks should they become cracked or damaged.
If sidewalks are broken, cracked, scaled or off-grade, the city may issue a notice of violation to the homeowner. Residents who receive a footway violation have five days to notify the Department of Transportation whether they will make the necessary repairs themselves or have the city do the work.
Citizens choosing to make the footway repairs on their own must obtain a permit from the city. If the homeowner decides to have the city repair the sidewalk, they will be billed for the work once it is complete. In the event that a sidewalk is damaged by a tree planted on a public right of way or by a public utility, then the City of Baltimore will be responsible for the cost of the repairs.
A resident may petition the footway violation notice to the Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals of Baltimore City. All decisions made by the Board are final. If the homeowner does not respond to the violation notice or file an appeal, then the city will make the necessary footway repairs and bill the homeowner for the cost of the work.
Footway violation notices are issued in response to citizen complaints and calls to the city’s 311 system. A violation notice may be issued if sidewalks look similar to the example above.
If you have a question or concern about footways in your community, please call the Department of Transportation’s Sidewalk and Alley Section at (410) 396-6969.