Editorial: Pedestrian priority

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Craig Editorial Board, Jan. to March 2012

  • Al Cashion, community representative
  • Jeff Pleasant, community representative
  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Bridget Manley, newspaper representative
  • Chris Nichols, community representative
  • Josh Roberts, newspaper representative

Our View

Sidewalks are a basic, yet critical asset to any community, but Craig officials need to start focusing on improving the current system of paths in our town. The current sidewalks and paths are not continuous nor, in many cases, well maintained. Improving the city’s portfolio of sidewalks would keep our children and seniors safe, as well as provide many recreation opportunities.

It’s been said transportation infrastructure is one of the key elements all successful and prosperous municipalities have in common.

However, the Editorial Board contends Craig is sorely lacking in one of the most basic of those infrastructures — sidewalks.

While the issue of sidewalk construction and maintenance isn’t new to the community, the Editorial Board concluded Monday it is time for city officials to take a long, hard look at the sidewalks, or lack thereof, around Craig.

There are a number of consequences caused by the lack of sidewalks in our community, namely safety for children and seniors, lack of recreational opportunities, and the overall headache of trying to get anywhere on foot.

The Editorial Board recognizes there are numerous hang-ups in the process of pouring and maintaining sidewalks, such as cost, labor and potential conflicts with homeowners and businesses.

But, as one board member put it, we just have to get it done.

There are a few areas the board would like to see city officials focus on, preferably during the next few years.

Those areas include paths leading to and from the various elementary schools and Moffat County High School, sidewalks surrounding our senior facilities, such as Sunset Meadows and along Ledford Street, and both sides of West Victory Way west of Yampa Avenue.

In these areas, there are either no sidewalks to serve our citizens, or the existing sidewalks come to a halt in strange places, often forcing our young children and seniors to walk in the street, or brave the often rough conditions.

If the rest of the community feels as the Editorial Board does, city officials should put their ear to the ground and pay attention. We already have many of the resources needed to make our community pedestrian friendly, it just takes a little funding and cooperation.

Yes, it’s true there are several paths and sidewalk systems that have been added recently to help address this issue, and the Editorial Board is grateful for those. But, we need to keep in mind many residents are not aware of the existing paths sidewalks in our town — something that also needs to change.

We wouldn’t be the first community to take on such a task, either. Several towns across the state are known for their excellent sidewalk systems and have a safer and healthier population for it. Let’s partner with those communities to see how they did it, the Editorial Board contends.

One thing is clear, however. Craig’s potential to be one of the great places to live in the state for all ages is undermined by not having a safe and well-maintained system of sidewalks.

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Comments

als362 3 years, 11 months ago

Just because all residences do not have sidewalks in front of them, does not excuse those property owners that do have walks from cleaning the snow from those walks in the winter. I believe it is one of a property owners civic duties to give safe passage to people on sidewalks in the winter.
I also believe that if a law requiring the clearing of sidewalks does not exist in Craig at this time, then that should be a high priority for the City Council to draft such a law and enact it.

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Exres 3 years, 11 months ago

How many times can the words "Editorial Board" be used in an editorial? LOL. It reminded me of how often Dennis Hopper said the word "Man" in an old motorcycle gang movie.

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Jon Pfeifer 3 years, 11 months ago

What seems incredibly ridiculous to me is that Finley Lane leading up to the high school has requirements for a setback to fence lines such that it would be extremely easy for the city to put a sidewalk all the way up both sides of the street there. I'm not sure what the history is as to why only about half of the homes have sidewalks and the other half don't. I know that when the residences were built there, the high school did not exist. At this point, some people might be out some shrubs, but that's not much of a price to pay to have a safe place for students to walk to and from school.

As for the comment about clearing the sidewalk, I agree that a homeowner should do this. The problem is that a lot of homes along these paths are for sale or in foreclosure and not occupied. I'm not sure how the path would get cleared in the winter in those circumstances.

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als362 3 years, 11 months ago

People can only be required to be responsible for their own properties. But perhaps there are some people that would clear these vacant residence walks on their own.

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xrsareus 3 years, 11 months ago

I couldn't find an ordinance about clearing sidewalks in Craig, but I might not have been in the right area of the Craig ordinance's. I attempted to walk yesterday. City Market is one of the worst. You can't walk on the east side because of all the trash on the sidewalk like a dumpster, old carts, picnic tables and snow on the sidewalks. Can't walk down Victory Way past City Market because of the big piles of snow. If you head East you can't walk from the corner to the Chinese restaurant because of snow piles. I finally just went home. I do want to thank everyone who does take the time to clear their sidewalks. I wish the city would do something.

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als362 3 years, 11 months ago

I hope there are members of the City Council viewing these pages and take heed of the people that think it is time for the city to draft and enact a law requiring the clearing of snow from sidewalks before we have another person hit by a vehicle because that person was forced to walk in the street because the sidewalks were not cleared of snow.

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firstofthefallen 3 years, 11 months ago

Could it be that the city perpetuates the problem by plowing snow back on to freshly shoveled sidewalks?

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als362 3 years, 11 months ago

You as a taxpayer hired the city to do that. There is no other efficient way to plow snow from the streets.
I too have had to clear my sidewalks several times after the plows went passed my property. That is why I spent many hundreds of dollars on a good snow blower, it makes my life much easier. These are the prices we pay for living with paved streets and sidewalks.

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daybyday 3 years, 10 months ago

als, I am confused when you frequently say that new laws destroy freedom and rights, and then you recommend high priority for drafting new laws. ? Just sayin'.

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Jon Pfeifer 3 years, 10 months ago

I think that most laws recognize that it is worth it to limit an individual's freedom to some extent for the public good. You don't get to litter (even though that restricts your freedom to be a slob) because we feel like that freedom isn't worth as much as the public good of having a nice and sanitary place to live. Here, your right to be lazy and/or negligent of the sidewalk in front of your home is a freedom that is probably not as important as having a safe path for citizens to walk on (especially kids on the way to school).

On the other hand, it is asking a bit too much of people to clear their sidewalk multiple times a day due to the snow plows pushing snow back onto the nicely cleared sidewalk. I think this is why most cities have their streets plowed at very early hours.

I think the first issue that needs to be sorted out is actually having sidewalks in the first place. Then we can get to thinking about how to keep them clear.

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als362 3 years, 10 months ago

There are many places that have sidewalks now, making sure that the ones already in place are safe to travel on should be the first step. It would be an almighty shame if, while everyone is waiting for every street to have a sidewalk adjacent to it, a child was hit and killed because that child was forced to walk in the street when a sidewalk was there and just needed to be cleared of snow.
If you are concerned about the possibly of having to clear the snow several times a day, these laws always have a time allowance of about 2 to 3 days to clear walks if that resident is not away for some reason.

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cag81625 3 years, 10 months ago

It would also be nice, in a world with such an ordinance, if the city did a better job of removing snow rather than finding "convenient" places along my property (i.e. where sidewalks would be if I had them) to push snow and slush which turn into four foot high icebergs that my neighbor's F250 with a plow cannot move much less a snowblower.

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