New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)

Sidewalks an amenity


I recently watched the recorded public informatio­n meeting regarding the proposed Walkable Sidewalks Project in Hamden. I was absolutely horrified and saddened by the fierce opposition to something as simple as a 5-foot concrete path to allow people a safe way to walk through their community. Many of the homeowners continuall­y claimed that these sidewalks would impact their property, when in fact nearly all work was being proposed in the public right-of-way. Yes, a public space meant for the betterment of the whole community, not for individual residents to control as their own.

One couple brought up the issue of equity as it related to which side of the road to construct the sidewalk on. However, if they were truly concerned with equity, they would realize that installing a sidewalk would allow safe travel along their road for those who do not own vehicles, which usually are residents of a lower economic standing. A road that is only safe for those traveling in a $30,000 machine is not equitable.

Sidewalks are meant to connect people to places. A walkway on the side of the road with no developmen­t serves little purpose compared to one in front of houses and destinatio­ns. How do these homeowners not realize that they would directly benefit from a sidewalk in front of their house, allowing them to walk through their own neighborho­od with ease?

One resident claimed that no one walks along their road, so these sidewalks would be a waste. By that reasoning, we should only build bridges based on how many drivers are currently fording rivers in their cars.

Design for the community you want, not the one you currently have. A walkable community is equitable, safer and much more desirable. Although some valid concerns were brought up, most of the wild claims in opposition were unfounded in actual logic. I look forward to Hamden moving this project forward.

Adam Weber New Haven

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States