Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sidewalk Improvement? How Are You Going To Improve Something We Ain't Got And Don't Want? Improve The Pension Plan First

The neighborhood is abuzz over these three signs that showed up recently in the 1600 blocks of Ferguson, New and Weaver. "Action as Promised". Ok,,,,who exactly did you promise this action to? None of the neighbors I talked while gathering photos for this blog seemed to recall being promised sidewalks on these three streets.

Of the three streets, only Ferguson appears to have big enough front yards to support sidewalks. Just along New Street, on the west side of the street are several big trees that made it though the ice storm. The houses on the east side of the street have small front yards, surely not big enough for sidewalks. The west side yards are bigger, but the trees would have to go to get the sidewalks in. On Weaver, the front yards on both sided of the street are shallow.

None of the neighbors I talked to (seven) were excited about getting sidewalks. All of them asked where the money was coming from and, if given the choice, said they would prefer the money go to the police and fireman pension fund.
Several neighbors wanted to know who decided we need sidewalks in our neighborhood? Because no one remembered being asked that question. (Several neighbors have lived here for over 40 years and don't remember that question being raised either.)

The sign says sidewalk improvements. How are you going to improve something we ain't got and don't want? Take the money and fix the pension fund first.


Jason said...

As someone who spends a lot of time walking through the Springfield area I'm all in favor of improving the sidewalks. That's just a basic safety measure.

I can see plenty of other places to cut funding for the police budget but I think we should make a public safety issue like sidewalks (so kids aren't walking on the road) should be a last resort.

Busplunge said...

google map 1637 South New Avenue, and look at Ferguson, New and Weaver. The south street border is Stanford, the north street border is Portland. These three streets go nowhere. I would say, after living on New Avenue since the late 1980s that the traffic count each day has been 11, dropping to 10 when our daughter moved out. Why sidewalks here? Why now and who decided we needed them more than say the neighborhoods on east Cherry? In this 1600 block of New Avenue between Portland and Stanford, lives on student, an eight grader at Jarrett Junior High. There are 11 houses on that block, two are vacant, single ladies live in 5 of them, single men lives in two of them and three married couples live in the other three.

Busplunge said...

There are 12 houses on that block. single ladies live in 5 of them, married couples live in 3 of them, single men live in 2 of them and 2 of them are vacant. 5 houses are on the west side of the street, all five being built by the same builder in 1953-54. This same builder built most of the houses on both sides of Ferguson and our house on Portland. The 7 houses on the east side of New were built by the same builder who also built most of the houses in the 1600 block of Weaver and Broadway. Most of the people who live in this neighborhood have lived here for more than 20 years.

Jason said...

Ah...well, if the streets are like that then you might have a point. We certainly have sections of the city that need it more than others.

Then again, if that was the neighborhood priority, how do you tell that neighborhood no when others aren't being told the same thing?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jason regarding the need for more sidewalks in Springfield. However, the pension funds are more important right now, and as busplunge has stated, these streets probably don't need them right now.

Anonymous said...

I too was one less teenage driver in that neighborhood when I moved out of my parents house on the corner of Portland and Ferguson and I can tell you that I never drove down Ferguson, New, Weaver or Stanford. The only "busy" street in that neighborhood is Portland and it is lined on both sides with sidewalks... the kidos that are walking home from school are completly safe on the other streets without sidewalks. Maybe the school could spend a fraction of this cost informing the kids to walk on the left side of the road and to always look and listen for oncoming cars.

Furthermore, I agree with busplunge, that a community decision such as this should be just that... a decision that the entire neighborhood agrees on. I am very curious to see who has proposed this and why!?