Dare to be weird!
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Austin TX
Bikes: Hybridized 1970s Coppi road bike; Townie city cruiser
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Originally Posted by Roody
I think that the city usually assesses homeowners for sidewalks. So you will pay for the sidewalk, and a certain number of your neighbors must agree to it, and all will have to pay, and they will seize some of your property to build it.
You sure you want a sidewalk?
Yep. The frontage on the road is entirely commercial and high density residential. The last lonely residential house lot in that area has a sign in front announcing a zoning change request. Sidewalks are supposed to be required before new buildings get their certificate of occupancy but somehow that doesn't always happen. This particular road dates back to 1860 so I guess it's possible there's no city easement on the abutting properties, I don't know.
Supposedly there is a city capital improvement fund to handle small things. Last year I saw a crew out reconstructing a median cut just a block away from the area I'm talking about, to make it less dangerous for motorists. Another possibility is the local public transportation district, which in the past has funded sidewalks that go to bus stops. I mentioned that of course.
I don't know if anything will happen. I saw a place on the city web pages where you could make requests for such things, so I did. That's the way things should work.
As long as I was wishing on a star, I thought about requesting the complete reconstruction of that entire road. I studied their technical criterion, which is something called the Ride Comfort Index. Yeah, that's totally auto centric, but that's the way it is. I looked up the RCI for that stretch and it's eligible. Two things stopped me. First, that would be a project in the millions of dollars, not tens of thousands. Second, they'd probably make it higher speed and no shoulders or sidewalks anyway. I thought it might be possible for a small request to be approved at a low level.
I feel a little silly going through this exercise because basically I've become so pessimistic about non-auto infrastructure. Advocacy groups around here come out of nowhere, shine brightly for a year or two, then burn out. We're into an advocacy burnout phase now.