Letter to the editor: Share sidewalk costs

To the editor:

The Lawrence sidewalks issue simply does not make much sense. I live in a home that is not accompanied by a sidewalk, yet I walk on the Lawrence sidewalks nearly every day. They seem very much like city infrastructure. I do not understand why I am less responsible for the maintenance of them than any other property owner. Why should my neighbor, who does have a sidewalk, be forced to take responsibility for “their” sidewalk while I am not? I make as much use of that sidewalk as anyone else, but I’m not forced to maintain it. Further, what if I moved into another Lawrence home that does have a sidewalk, and what if the previous owner used shoddy materials to “maintain” it? Should I be expected to maintain a poorly constructed piece of Lawrence infrastructure?

What does make sense is for all property owners to share responsibility for the sidewalks that we all use. The city constantly raises taxes to cover needed improvements; why are sidewalks any different? I would gladly pay a little more each year to maintain our jointly owned and used sidewalks. That sure seems to make more sense than what is being contemplated by our city leaders.