For the week of January 27, 1999   thru February 2, 1999  

That’ll teach ‘em

Faced with vocal opposition to creating a sidewalk district, the Ketchum City Council caved in again.

While acknowledging the need for sidewalks in the commercial area, the council deleted sidewalks from expensive commercial lots whose owners complained about cost.

It was quite an exercise in government. Squeaky wheels prevailed. Owners who didn’t complain are going to get a bill, while owners right across the street will pay nothing. That’ll teach ‘em.

It will teach pedestrians, too. The people who dare to walk around Ketchum will have to suck it up for another decade or two or three or four. They will have to invest in fluorescent rubber boots and rubber coats to avoid getting drenched in the winter. They will have to learn the fine art of furious arm waving to avoid being squashed by inattentive drivers on cell phones in speeding suburban assault vehicles.

Visitors can return home with tales of how they survived a mountain ordeal. It could convince them to take up a safer pastime, like sky diving or bungee jumping.

Businesses fronting streets with no sidewalks can continue to watch with sinking hearts while potential customers turn back when faced with a motorized obstacle course between themselves and the shop door.

If sidewalks are really as bad as opponents claim, the city should reverse course and tear ‘em out. Then it should post signs at the entrance to town: "Welcome to Ketchum, Home of the Famous Disappearing Sidewalk. Walk at your own risk. Good luck getting out unscathed. Have a nice day."

That’ll teach ‘em.


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