Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sidewalks in the news

The latest furor in the fourth and fifth council districts, is the movement to put sidewalks along the divided four lane section of Tates Creek Rd. The State Transportation Cabinet, in their infinite wisdom, omitted them when the built the section that runs from just south of Lakewood out to New Circle. About the only thing that they did do is build the road. No landscaping, no streetlights, no sidewalks, just the road.

I traveled that road at least twice a day for about 8 years, usually by bike and sometimes by bus or on foot. The lack of a sidewalk or bike path was annoying, but do-able. It taught me to not be afraid to ride at speed with the traffic and to despise the idiot, juvenile, redneck, teenage drivers. A sidewalk an d lights would have made the trips a whole lot easier.

Now, thirty years later, the residents along Tates Creek are resisting any attempt to change the status quo, although there is clearly a need for the sidewalks. The Fifth District Councilman is all for the installation and the Fourth District Councilman sees no reason to proceed. You can see for yourself in the photo below, the path that continues from the sidewalks end.

The residents of Tates Creek Rd. are of the upper income bracket and the houses sit well back from the roadway, generally with a gentle rise of the lawn to the house. It makes no sense to me, but they claim to be concerned about storm drainage from the sidewalk getting into the basements of their houses. It's a neat trick for water to flow uphill over such a distance.

I believe that their main objection is really about the need for them to clear the sidewalk of snow in the winter. Given the number of citations written for the rest of the urban area, this fear is probably unfounded.

Lexington is not alone in it's problems with sidewalks, a fellow blogger in Charlotte N.C. has written over the last week or so about the situation there. You can read about it here, here and here.

I don't equate our Fourth District Councilman with their County Commissioner but I can see some similarities in their actions.

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