Decision Made Regarding City Sidewalks

By Courtney Burris | cburris@krbc.tvg

Published 03/27 2014 05:57PM

Updated 03/27 2014 06:21PM

Abilene City Council and the Planning and Zoning committee have recently been discussing the best possible ways to address the city sidewalk issue. In the latest council meeting it was determined that four of the five proposed changes to the Land and Development code would be approved. The one change that council did not approve would have been a change that would have dropped the requirement for developers to put in sidewalks in new neighborhoods. As of now, it is still a requirement that sidewalks be built in front of new houses.

Mike Vandervoort says that his neighborhood "Is a classic example of what happens when they used to have sidewalk ordinances, and the homes further to the east have sidewalks, then it stops."

Vandervoort says that sidwalk connectivity is important to make Abilene a better community. "You get a sense of community because you get out and greet people and say hi and get to know your neighbors."

He says that he is glad for council's decision to continue to require sidewalks in new neighborhoods, but that he hopes more people have a say going forward. "We really think that there ought to be people there who represent seniors, who represent people with disabilities, just as well as people there representing developers."

Mary Kindrick also attended the public hearing regarding sidewalks. Mary is blind, but does not want to be limited to only traveling around certain areas of town. "I want to maintain my independence."

She wants to make sure that those with disabilities have an equal chance to enjoy Abilene, but agrees that sidewalks are for everyone. "All of us here in Abilene need sidewalks to be able to get around and be part of the community."

More sidewalk discussions are in Abilene's future, but many think that the decisions made today were a step down the right path.

To learn more about the current sidewalk ordinances, check out the City of Abilene Site.

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