Red tape isn't the problem with fixing sidewalks; rather, the problem is a lack of will to fix our public infrastructure in Los Angeles.
There already is a process for residents to photograph and report broken sidewalks, and it works, at least for emergency repairs. Property owners with tree-damaged sidewalks report problems to the city's Department of Public Works or directly to the Bureau of Street Services. The bureau makes emergency asphalt repairs immediately and logs necessary concrete repairs for future action when the funding is allocated.
The time has long passed for a Mayberry-scale solution to this super-sized problem. This isn't just about sidewalks; it's also about curbs, gutters and aprons, infrastructure to be taken as seriously by the city as streets and sewers. The sidewalk problem requires a new, systematic way of thinking, including citywide mapping of street-level infrastructure.