The Difference Between Sidewalks and Curbs

Curbs are classified as part of roadways and are therefore owned by the City.  If a curb is missing or damaged, the City may repair or replace it at no cost to the property owner.

Sidewalks must be maintained by the property owner. If a sidewalk is found to be defective, the property owner will be notified.

On many streets, it is easy to differentiate this divide, for there is a small gap between the sidewalk and the curb.


  • Protect the sidewalk from traffic
  • Prevent erosion
  • Channels water properly to catch basins
  • Overall help the sidewalk to last longer

You can make a complaint with 311 if curbs:

  • Damaged
  • Illegally painted by a property owner to discourage parking
  • Illegally cut for a driveway.

Curbs should be maintained because they:

  • Facilitate the life of the sidewalk
  • Protect the sidewalk from vehicular traffic
  • Channel water properly into catch basins
  • Prevent erosion

The DOT will come and inspect the curb’s condition after a complaint has been made. The City may be able to replace missing/damaged curbs at no cost to the property owner.

Photo by Cory Doctorow

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