Friday, February 11, 2011

Complete Streets raises questions

I have concerns about Hailey's proposed Complete Streets program. As a longtime resident of old Hailey, I don't think pedestrian or bicycle safety is an issue in most sections of our town. If there is a safety issue, it's in the winter months, but maintaining the new sidewalks through the snow months would place a burden on homeowners, including a potential liability burden.

  Mandated construction projects should be required to meet some standards of need, reasonableness, etc. The city should insure that changes enhance the property values of those being asked to pay, rather than degrade property values.

The plans we've seen for old Hailey look like they will favor increased vehicle traffic to the detriment of neighborhoods. Plans call for a patchwork designation of collectors and arterials that seem intended to facilitate traffic from new developments when we should be focusing on how to discourage increased traffic in residential neighborhoods. In addition, some changes smack of creeping commercialism. Did you notice the original plan for 10-foot sidewalks in old east Hailey? 

The traditional way the roads have been shared by vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles works well for the majority of the year and is closer to the ideal of the bygone American small town than the Complete Streets package can ever achieve. Also, don't be fooled by the city's search for grant funding. These projects will cost us regardless of how much grant money is obtained.

If you live in Hailey, this ordinance will affect your property, and your input does count. Please attend the City Council meeting scheduled to adopt Complete Streets (Title 18) on Monday, Feb. 14, at 5:30 p.m. upstairs in Hailey City Hall.

Dennis Keireleber


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