Sidewalks Letter to Lawrence City Commission

Dear City Commissioners, City Manager and City Staff,                              1-7-17

Mark Thiel graciously spoke to LAN with regard to City action addressing sidewalk repair and maintenance. It seems that the direction being taken by the City is the enforcement of present policies with creative implementation. LAN wishes to explore the possibility of the City combining sidewalks into infrastructure policies, including cost and maintenance. LAN is of the opinion that there has not been enough research into an equitable solution for sidewalk maintenance that is financed by taxpayers citywide.

At present the greater cost of maintaining sidewalks falls on communities with the lowest financial resources. Everyone uses sidewalks, much like city streets. The burden of cost now is restricted to those who have a sidewalk in front of their residence. LAN believes that the City’s liability is not a sufficient reason to eliminate the possibility of the City managing this important service. Other communities have found a way to do this without undue financial risk.

LAN has supported the idea of a citywide sidewalk policy that is managed and maintained by the City for many years. We believe that there is public support for this and that the City should explore further possibilities.

Sincerely,  Candice Davis and Courtney Shipley LAN co-chairs

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