Editorial: Pedestrian priority
January 26, 2011
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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