For the week of November 18 thru November 24, 1998  

Sidewalks erased again

The Ketchum City Council once again set sidewalks up for failure and surprise, they failed again.

The council took the eraser to its sidewalk plans after irate homeowners who live in the city’s commercial core told the city they shouldn’t have to pay 80 percent of the cost of constructing a sidewalk in front of their homes. One person characterized walking in the street as part of the city’s "charm."

We see nothing charming about forcing pedestrians to put themselves in harm’s way.

Yet, the homeowners had a point. It is more difficult for working homeowners to pay for sidewalks than it is for businesses.

If it were a matter of paving roads or parking lots, there would be no debate—the city would pay. For reasons impossible to comprehend, the council ranks cars ahead of people.

Ketchum has spent millions to pave streets, plant trees on Main Street, study parking, plan a building to protect trucks and sand, build water systems for fire protection, and a sewage system for river protection. Why not spend a little to protect pedestrians?

The council needs to quit ducking its responsibility and fund construction of all the missing sidewalks in the commercial core. Sidewalks there are not a frill, but a necessity.


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