Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Answer: Sidewalks Should be 5 ft. Wide

You may recall back in April I had a post discussing how wide a sidewalk should be. Well, I learned yesterday from Bob Moylan that the sidewalks on our road will be increased to a width of 5 ft.

We currently have 4 ft. wide sidewalks in horrible condition and 4 ft. is just not wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side. When I found out our street and sidewalks were on the list to be repaired this year, I thought I would reach out to my City Councilor, Joff Smith, and Bob Moylan, Commissioner of Public Works & Parks and ask them if they would be willing to increase the width a few feet (we have unusually wide 9 ft. grass strips) since they were going to be replacing 90% of the sidewalk already.

Existing 4 ft. Sidewalks and 9 ft. Grass Strips
I followed up with Joff by phone a few weeks later and left a voicemail. Joff called me back almost immediately; he informed me that he had spoken with Bob about my request and that Bob was looking into the feasibility of widening the sidewalks. I heard nothing from either of them following that call with Joff, and to be honest I forgot about it until NSTAR started digging up our street a few weeks ago to install new gas lines. So I again followed up to both Joff and Bob by e-mail yesterday requesting an update on my request, and Bob replied almost immediately with the good news. Apparently DPW also looked at other streets in our neighborhood to see if their sidewalks widths could also be increased (a number of streets in our neighborhood have the 9 ft. wide grass strips), but ours was the only one "free of physical limitations to allow us to widen the walk" (or, in other words: sufficiently devastated by the ALB such that there was not one tree remaining on the grass strip).

Looking forward to that first stroll down the new, wider sidewalk soon.....

(and Harry T., Summerhill Ave. is a good guess, but incorrect....)