Archive for Friday, October 13, 2006

Sidewalk repair focus of cleanup

October 13, 2006


Sidewalk repair will be the focus of this year's fall cleanup planned for Saturday in East Lawrence.

In addition to picking up trash and other routine neighborhood cleaning, a 50-foot section of broken sidewalk in the 1200 block of Pennsylvania Street will be replaced.

"It's a block where a couple live who have some vision problems," said Janet Good, president of the East Lawrence Neighborhood Assn. "It gives them a lot of problems getting on the bus safely, so we're going to replace that sidewalk."

The neighborhood association is organizing the cleanup, and two volunteers from Comet Corp., a Lawrence concrete contracting firm, will rebuild the sidewalk section. Penny's Concrete Inc. is donating the concrete.

Owen Lehman, the neighborhood association's vice president and Comet employee, will work with Bill O'Brien in replacing the sidewalk.

"We're actually going to try to stencil the concrete to make it look like brick," Lehman said. "That way we can make it look like all the older sidewalks but it will still have the benefits of concrete."

This is the third year the association has emphasized sidewalk work as part of the cleanup.

It also comes a few weeks after the city of Lawrence received a report on the deplorable conditions of many city sidewalks, especially those in East Lawrence.

"It was not news to us that we have the worst sidewalks in town," Good said. "It's really a bad situation, and we're trying to be proactive about it. We don't want to sit around and wait for somebody to solve our problems for us."

Volunteers also plan to stabilize a garage damaged by the March microburst, Good said. The association is open to anyone who wants to help with the cleanup and repairs, which will begin at 8 a.m. and continue until noon. Volunteers will meet at Hobbs Park at 10th and Delaware streets. A sign will be posted there alerting any latecomers where they can go to help.

"The more people we have show up, the more we can do," Good said. "People can work for an hour or all morning. We'll take anybody for any amount of time."


roger_o_thornhill 9 years, 1 month ago

Seems to make sense to me jafs. And if the property owners ARE responsible, what is the excuse for the "student ghetto" areas? Landlords take and take, but the sidewalks are a sham(e). I almost broke bones several times when living in that area (not because of drunkeness either). Who would pay my hospital bills? PMS? First Management? I doubt it.

And why stop with sidewalks? Why not make property owners responsible for the road in front of their house? What's the difference? Seriously?!

Oh, and if the sidewalk is yours, can you put up a toll booth?

jafs 9 years, 1 month ago

It is absurd that public sidewalks, used and abused by the public, should be the responsibility of private property owners to maintain. If I own and am responsible for maintaining something, then I should be able to keep it private. If something is used by the public, then that makes it public and therefore should be maintained by the city.

GardenMomma 9 years, 1 month ago

I thought that maintenance of the sidewalks required maintenance, i.e. shoveling snow, sweeping debris, etc. I wasn't aware that maintenance included replacing the entire sidewalk. I guess you learn something new everyday.

conservative 9 years, 1 month ago

City Hall should be ashamed that the owners of the property haven't taken care of their responsibility? The city installs sidewalks initially. After that it is the responsibility of the property owners.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 1 month ago

good job ELIA. lawrence city hall needs (even yet) to revamp their sidewalk repair policy into a reasonable plan.

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