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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 08-09-05, 01:21 AM   #1
Platy
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I requested a sidewalk

To get out of my apartment complex I have to go on a frightful three block stretch of substandard canyon road (two narrow lanes, disintegrating pavement, uphill, blind S curve, 45 mph traffic, no shoulder, tall weeds, no sidewalk). After that the road becomes somewhat civilized with wide lanes and sidewalks.

So I emailed the Street & Bridge department of my city and requested a sidewalk extension for the three scary blocks. I'll let you know when my new sidewalk appears.
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Old 08-09-05, 02:33 AM   #2
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You might check and see if there are advocacy groups in your area that petition for just that kind of thing, the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition and www.penbiped.org are good local examples, these are the guys/gals who go to city board meetings and petition for rational sidewalks, bike paths, etc.
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Old 08-09-05, 09:19 AM   #3
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good luck, platy.

i hope those of us who are fortunate enough to live in areas that require little to no modifaction to be bike friendly remember things like this when they crop up so we realize how lucky we are.
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Old 08-09-05, 04:55 PM   #4
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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?
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Old 08-09-05, 05:19 PM   #5
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It's a dangerous road. The decision between pitching in with the neighbors to build a sidewalk, and ending up a spaghetti mess on the pavement doesn't seem like much of a decision at all.
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Old 08-09-05, 09:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
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.
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