Letter to the editor: Sidewalk posse

To the editor:

A few weeks ago, I had a friend mention they received a letter from the city to repair their sidewalk. As the sidewalk is one on which I sometimes walk, I was surprised as the sidewalk is in pretty good shape compared with many I have walked on in the city. As walkers themselves, they were willing to comply.

A few days later, I went walking on a very cold day and did a downtown walk as I thought there might still be ice on some spots on my usual route. In returning, I walked down Rhode Island Street as I had never been that way. The stretch of sidewalk on the west side of the street between 11th and Ninth is in amazingly bad shape. I saw later the same section was featured in a photo in your paper. I also saw in the paper that the city’s current policy seemed to be that they go out and investigate when someone complains. I thought about a childish response in which I would carry a notepad on my walks and send a complaint in every time I encounter a problem.

I, as I am sure most do, want good sidewalks, but if the little spot on my friend’s sidewalk registers a complaint, then they have set the bar very low.

Here’s an idea. What if we set up a vigilante group to patrol sidewalks? We could enlist the help of all walkers and give them Sidewalk Citizen Arrest forms. I am sure we could get a large, enthusiastic response.