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OneSweetWorld

Sidewalks in suburban subdivisions

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I just read an article about a subdivision in Byron Twp rejecting a proposal that would initiate the construction of sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. This brings me to a question: Is this is the right or wrong direction for suburban subdivisions to go? I realize no one is going to use them to walk to work or the grocery store and that it might be a "burden" for some, but it's the principle of rejecting sidewalks that kind of irks me. Sidewalks have a way of bringing people out of their homes to go for walks and interact with neighbors, and children to get off the xbox and play outside. Plus the fact that it could be potentially dangerous for children to walk/ride bikes in the street all the time begs the question- is this the right or wrong decision?

Thoughts?

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I have been hit by a car going 35 mph in a 15 mph speed zone when I was a kid mainly because the neighborhood lacking sidewalks forced my brother and I to ride our bikes in the street. Fortunately I only got a couple of bruises and scrapes. But it scared the heck out of me. That bit being deeply etched in my memory, I feel much safer on a sidewalk.

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I have been hit by a car going 35 mph in a 15 mph speed zone when I was a kid mainly because the neighborhood lacking sidewalks forced my brother and I to ride our bikes in the street. Fortunately I only got a couple of bruises and scrapes. But it scared the heck out of me. That bit being deeply etched in my memory, I feel much safer on a sidewalk.

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I cannot see the downside of a sidewalk.

I'm also not used to this idea that residents need to pay to have them installed - other places I have lived, that's why you pay property taxes. The sidewalk goes into the easement (which you technically do not own), and the city takes care of everything but the shoveling.

At our place, I watch a blind child and a parent walk in the street to and from church each weekend. There's no reason we shouldn't have had a sidewalk installed fifty years ago when we were the first house on the block.

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I think that sidewalks are one of the least expensive and easiest-to-construct ways (compared to, say, rail lines) to encourage not only interaction between neighbors, but also non-motorized travel within and between neighborhoods.

Kids should have a safer place to walk, yet so too should adults, especially seniors. There are seniors in my non-sidewalk neighborhood who are afraid to go for a walk because it means walking in the street, making them essentially house-bound.

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I grew up in a neighborhood with sidewalks and we were CONSTANTLY playing in the street. Luckily for us, we were on a very dead road with only the people that lived there driving up and down it and I lived in a town of only 3,000 people.

Having lived in GR for two years, I can't imagine living in an area without sidewalks. In our old neighborhood, kids would constantly be playing and riding their bikes up and down the sidewalks. Its was a pretty constantly flow of traffic daily.

I'm also not used to this idea that residents need to pay to have them installed - other places I have lived, that's why you pay property taxes. The sidewalk goes into the easement (which you technically do not own), and the city takes care of everything but the shoveling.

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Having lived in GR for two years, I can't imagine living in an area without sidewalks. In our old neighborhood, kids would constantly be playing and riding their bikes up and down the sidewalks. Its was a pretty constantly flow of traffic daily.

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I cannot see the downside of a sidewalk.

I'm also not used to this idea that residents need to pay to have them installed - other places I have lived, that's why you pay property taxes. The sidewalk goes into the easement (which you technically do not own), and the city takes care of everything but the shoveling.

At our place, I watch a blind child and a parent walk in the street to and from church each weekend. There's no reason we shouldn't have had a sidewalk installed fifty years ago when we were the first house on the block.

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There was another recent piece in the Press regarding a similar issue in Grandville, where there's a push to add sidewalks to every street. (I am presently one or three days behind on reading local news; not sure when I saw it.) The one with the woman on a disability who can't afford the assessment.

Google up Beverly Hills 48025 (where I spent my high school years) and their on-going sidewalk issues. Residents there claimed that this would devalue their properties, impede the natural aesthetics of their front yards (which face major arterials such as Lahser or Thirteen Mile), and make it convenient for criminals to come rob them. (Hey! Same concerns as rail-trails!)

Having lived in sidewalk-less suburban developments and and sidewalk-endowed neighborhood streets, I'm all for the latter.

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Regarding the recent case of Grandville, the city wanted residents to foot most of the bill to add sidewalks in an area where they're going to replace the water main. Aside from the financial hit, one of the arguments against it was that there were some driveways so short that a car parked in the driveway would end up blocking the sidewalk. Anyways, due to the numbers that showed up to protest in city hall, the council ended up voting against putting in the sidewalks.

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Am I allowed, then, to hire my own crew to put a sidewalk in? I mean, if I have to pay for it, I should be able to shop for the best deal...

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Am I allowed, then, to hire my own crew to put a sidewalk in? I mean, if I have to pay for it, I should be able to shop for the best deal...

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Am I allowed, then, to hire my own crew to put a sidewalk in? I mean, if I have to pay for it, I should be able to shop for the best deal...

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