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Garfield Residents Call on City to Maintain Overgrown Trees, Fix Broken Sidewalks

Michael Lynch

Garfield residents, lead by members of the activist group Action United, marched and chanted their way down Hillcrest Street Monday calling on city officials to maintain the neighborhood’s overgrown trees.

According to the group, many of the community’s sidewalks have started to “crack, slant and crumble” thanks to roots growing underneath the concrete.

Residents said the sidewalks have become dangerous for the elderly, children and those with disabilities.

“I have some neighbors who would love to probably get out here and walk,” Garfield resident Elrita Burton said, “but you can’t because of the uprooting of our sidewalks. They’re just in bad shape and we really need the help.”

Activists say they have been reaching out to the city for several months but have received no response.

“The trees here have become liabilities,” said activist Bill Bartlett. “They’ve become neighborhood liabilities. You have children, the elderly, people that are less mobile — they can’t walk down the sidewalks because the sidewalks are all broken up.”

According to Marissa Doyle, spokeswoman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, maintenance of sidewalks is the responsibility of the property owners, but in cases where the city is responsible for damage (like when a city planted tree uproots sidewalk) residents can call the city to fix the damage.