Saturday, November 15, 2008

Where the sidewalk shouldn't end

My weekly Observer column in today's paper spins off some of the past week's discussion about kids walking to school, and sidewalks. The Charlotte developers' lobby is questioning whether the city should require developers to build sidewalks on both sides of residential streets.

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Now I gotta get back to my Saturday bloggers' camp and learn about tag clouds and other fun stuff.


Terry McDonald said...

You have to admire their persisistence...couldn't agree more, sidewalks are for everyone, and they provide that extra space between frontyard and curb that makes the street scape more inviting, and more comfortable for all.
Thanks for bringing it up...

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone in their right mind would disagree that sidewalks are most definitely necessary and beneficial to all of a town's residents, regardless of how much they are actually used (see: Ballentyne).

However, when Planning requires sidewalks on both sides of the street, and, at the same time, retains their position on setbacks, requires that the sidewalks be 5-6', and that they all have adjacent 5-6' planting strips, the amount of developable land goes down, and, as a direct result, your home price (not value) goes up per square foot.
The issue at hand is not whether or not to provide this necessary public amenity, it is how developers will be required to provide it.

If you give Planning an inch, they take a foot. Most of them need to take a class at CPCC to learn about return on investment, and stop assuming that all developers are the money-hungry super wealthy.