According to studies from AARP, people who live in neighborhoods with sidewalks are almost 50 percent more likely to be active for at least 30 minutes a day. Remove and replace affected panel(s). When property is developed, property owners dedicate part of the land as “public right-of-way” for streets, sidewalks, utilities and similar public uses. But, it doesn’t make much sense to have sidewalks on cul-de-sac streets, or even the streets in Mayflower. More people leisurely walking around and using the sidewalks rather than vehicles are also indicators of overall safety in the neighborhood. Employees who walk to and from their workplace (and avoid long car rides) are also more likely to have better mental health. The quality and safety of parking lots should be carefully considered by HOAs and residential developers. Therefore, the sidewalk should be paid for in same way the adjacent street is paid for. Sidewalks promote greater activity and better health. Walkability, in turn, increases property value, regardless of whether it’s a commercial or residential one. My response was simple, “Admit that you were wrong. However, a properly installed concrete sidewalk can do so much more. It should not be as hard a question to answer to residents as it always seems to be. (Though they don’t seem to raise them, either.) If the response is geared to the residents realistic concerns, and based on a community value, it should be successful. Among the most common approaches municipalities use to inform and guide street and sidewalk design are (1) complete streets and (2) context sensitive design. Sidewalks are economically beneficial to residential properties as well as to business or commercial centers. Starting in January, Northfield Transit begins its route deviation system which will run south to north on Maple Street so people will board (and wait) on the no-sidewalk side. Fiona Campbell discusses a city proposal to add sidewalks to South Kingslea Drive. As walkable places continue to demonstrate value, sidewalks and plazas will help deliver that value. I did a final project just now on property values in comparison to street width and sidewalk coverage. For example, there should be sidewalks on my street – Washington – because it is a major collector street and goes into downtown. Over the seasons, water can get into the surface of a cement walkway and with melting and freezing cycles, the moisture can actually cause cracks in the cement. According to the NAR, adding a walkway with a couple planters and handful of shrubs recoups more than 80% of the value. All community meetings about a specific project should be attended by the ward council person to discuss the policy , and the staff to explain technical details. There are not sidewalks on connecting streets yet. preference for neighborhoods with high walkability, Northfield: Adding value to Woodley Street |, UPDATE! Streets and sidewalks are for everyone’s use. But they aren't just attractive; they also add value to a property. Neighborhood character: Adding a sidewalk will change/ruin the neighborhood. Northfield’s Comprehensive Plan and Transportation Plan lay the policy groundwork for a multi-modal transportation network with high quality, pedestrian friendly streets. Well-designed and safe sidewalks help direct the flow foot traffic towards local retailers or commercial centers as well as foster social interaction and customer loyalty. They add value to private property by providing access to the property and a way to get to other places in the city. A fresh coat of paint is an affordable update, which you can do yourself with proper preparation. Oh, and one response to a particular argument: people walk in the street most often when there is not a sidewalk on the side they want to be on. If done right, it can also add value to your property. Furthermore, the next council or subsequent councils can always change a policy that is based upon the whims of the present council. Sean is 100% correct on this, IMO. Your school’s parking lot is one of the busiest parts of the campus. If they use the sidewalk for … Obviously, neither I nor the folks on Maple can know what will happen on a future improvement since it’s not there yet. Retrofitting sidewalks is an incremental process – right now, the opportunity is Maple Street (and our other 2012 projects on Linden/Lockwood, Roosevelt Drive and 8th Street). The result was that we would have had to cross the street twice to use it (since the access to campus was on the same side as the houses). “Sidewalks add to the value of the community and its homes,” Eaglin said. Restaurants, in particular, can take advantage of the wide walkways to put up advertisement stands or a couple of chairs to attract the attention of pedestrians. However, sidewalks are fine in densely populated areas as long as children do not pick in front of your house to ride their noisy riding toys. A driveway will add value to your home. Your email address will not be published. Businesses that are more accessible through walking earn higher profits as their customers can spend more on their products instead of on gas for their cars. However, if the citywide goal is a comprehensive sidewalk network, this is the least expensive way to do it. We focus on customer service that aims to please. Sidewalks are not there just to benefit the adjacent property. Daily brisk walking also helps lower the likelihood of other health conditions that stem from inactivity, such as diabetes and heart disease, and high healthcare costs. The document I have posted here pertains to sidewalk regualtions in the 1950's when housewives and children were the focus groups in regards to the building… In fact, it is one of the few home improvements you can make that … There are several issues which surface here: loss of trees, loss of green yard space, or just that the look will be different. Appropriate sidewalk width and placement given the land uses and density of uses. For me, however, it’s a big consideration. Contact us today for a free quote for your commercial concrete project! Certainly the sidewalk is a change, however, it may not be a bad one. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Walkability Improves Value Sidewalks improve a neighborhood’s walkability score. For a particular home in Northfield, it’s difficult to say whether adding a sidewalk raises or lowers property value without a comparison of similar homes with and without sidewalks. With design options, such as aprons, saw-cut patterns and borders, there are plenty of ways to add personality to your driveway. As a dollar amount, sidewalks add to the cost. Sidewalks are Always in Style May 10, 2012 at 1:02 PM Dear Reader, ~ Sidewalks were most popular when all citizens, even the most affluent, had to utilize the roadways on foot. Envision the difference between peeling old paint and fresh paint and/or siding. It's … I think the Jefferson reactions were revelatory: the homeowners felt singled out, felt their yards were being unreasonably invaded, etc. Cities tend to add new uses on an ad hoc basis instead of locating (or reallocating) amenities and facilities in the most advantageous places. If “we” means anything in this context, it certainly doesn’t mean the 80% who don’t want sidewalks. The yard space is city-owned right of way, so there’d be the loss of use of it, but no loss of property (private landscaping in the right of way may be destroyed). The people there don’t want them, and the only people that use those streets get their by car. A poorly designed and maintained sidewalk can discourage people from using it often. Maple Street is an opportunity to continue implementing this vision and eliminate a gap in our sidewalk network. Commercial properties with walk scores of at least 80 are valued at over 50% higher than those with walk scores of 20 or lower. The addition of the sidewalk on Maple Street is called for by the Safe Routes to School study completed in 2009. The people who are walking for recreation can walk on almost any street; they don’t need every street to have sidewalks. On the individual plus side, Northfield does not assess property owners for sidewalks. So far in my Northfield experience, sidewalks – new sidewalks where none had existed before, that is – always generate opposition and Maple Street is no exception. I lived in the Norwegian House at St. Olaf, on W 1st St, which was reconstructed while I was living there, with a sidewalk on only one side — infuriatingly, the side that the houses were not on. Just as shoppers seek out “experiential retail,” community members seek experiences in public spaces. Cost: New sidewalks are too expensive. As a result, there are enough choices to satisfy almost every unique taste and need. Whatever, sidewalks have to work with the rest of the neighborhood and the lifestyle of the resident or they won't necessarily add value. Bright, clean and professional looking concrete sidewalks create a more inviting environment for pedestrians and visitors as well as promote closer relationships among the members of a community or institution. Cement sidewalks can provide a nice looking addition to a home. However, 3 feet is not the recommended width for sidewalks, it is the absolute minimum needed to ensure a clear path of travel when obstacles exist in the sidewalk. Also, in community centers, sidewalks should be generous to allow room for casual conversations, additional seating, such as benches or cafe tables, and other community interactions. Period.” It seems better to bring up a list like this when asked to explain why the City has set a full sidewalk standard, rather than trying to justify each individual street’s sidewalk. Learn how your comment data is processed. Usefulness: No one will use it (because: they walk in the street anyway, there’s a sidewalk on the other side, there aren’t sidewalks on connecting streets). Have you ever noticed everyone gravitates toward the kitchen during a dinner party? The natural and appealing beauty of wood will certainly add value to a home. One of the best indicators of your home’s value is the sale prices of similar homes in your neighborhood that have sold recently. On the collective downside, the cost of new sidewalks is spread across the entire tax base of the city. I’m inclined to think that the best response to sidewalk objections is, simply, “this is how we do a street in Northfield.” That’s established in our transportation plan for collector and arterial roadways, and for all streets in the LDC. Serving Kansas & Missouri Since 2005 | Call: (816) 746-6100. If you’re looking for the perfect partner for a concrete sidewalk project, K&E Flatwork LLC is here for you. It would be much better to have a sidewalk necessity policy. The Land Development Code calls for sidewalks on both sides of collector streets (of which Maple is one). Population density is related, in turn, to size of lot and type of dwelling. Why force the voters to have something they clearly don’t want? These comparable homes are often referred to as “comps”. I would guess that children are by far the largest pedestrian group, and they are walking to and from school. Unfortunately, a characteristic of cement that many people aren't aware of is that it's porous and it will absorb water. Aesthetic value Aside from the fact that it is a natural product and part of our everyday lives, wood comes in a variety of beautiful colors and grain patterns. In addition to Complete Streets advocates, powerful lobbying groups like AARP are advocating for neighborhoods with better pedestrian and transit opportunities. We’re planning for a Complete Streets policy to ensure streets are safe and accessible for all. Sidewalks improve a neighborhood’s walkability score. Walkability. With Sibley School in the middle of this stretch of street, there are elementary school kids walking to school from all directions including through Sibley Swale park which empties onto Maple almost at the school with no sidewalk or obvious place to cross to the other side. The reply is: elected officials have made a policy decision about the kind of community that is wanted, there is no cost to the homeowner when the sidewalks are in a larger street reconstruction, and (here is where the difference is from former engineer’s positioning) because we value the community’s trees as much as you do, we will make every effort to save your boulevard trees, including ‘meandering’ the sidewalk. Well-planned sidewalks should help an area feels like a community: with a regular flow of foot traffic, they should feel neither overcrowded nor empty and abandoned. Regardless of the type of sidewalk you would construct, make sure to hire an experienced Kansas City-based sidewalk paver to do your concrete flatwork professionally. Nobody asks the Council to justify street lights or curbs (well, once or twice, they have been asked for that). Most people will not cross a street (especially one the width of a small freeway) to use the sidewalk. In my neighborhood in Lower Paxton Twp., we do not have sidewalks, and it puts … Safety: Most sidewalk opponents considered the west side sidewalk sufficient for safety (traffic speed was the big safety issue- and it is a big one). Whether it’s a home appraisal, a comparative market analysis done by an agent, or an Opendoor evaluation, most real estate experts will rely on comps to estimate your home value. ... we love the environment but I value people's health and safety more," she said. Your email address will not be published. The city is really trying to find ways to save mature trees and increase the number of trees overall, but, yes, trees may be removed for both the street reconstruction and a few more for the sidewalk. Sales tax on materials and supplies. Being able to stroll to schools, parks, stores, and restaurants will raise your property … However, realtors are reporting higher prices and preference for neighborhoods with high walkability – sidewalks, places to walk to, proximity to stores, schools and other services. A well-constructed walkway for a typical 50-foot-wide residential property might cost a builder $2,000, but it can return 15 times that investment in resale value. Policy-wise, I think this means the City believes the sidewalk network benefits the entire community, not just the property over which they run. If the sidewalk has a vertical separation of more than one-quarter inch (1/4”) between any two panels of sidewalk. One of the measures of sidewalk traffic is population density. I think it’s easy to just say, “your street is the one we’re working on now; we install sidewalks on both sides whenever right-of-way and topography permit. Many factors cause vertical separation in sidewalk panels, with the most common being tree roots raising the sidewalk or settlement of a utility trench. Safe sidewalks are a … Neighborhoods with high walk scores are also beneficial for businesses. Rough and more textured sidewalks, such as those made with interlocking bricks, may be better for slow and leisurely walks. The voters don’t want sidewalks everyplace.”. If sidewalks were as ubiquitous in new and replacement work, people wouldn’t be objecting to them either. The people who walk by necessity are walking to a destination. There’s no readily available evidence to show sidewalks lower property values, except when they’re in poor condition. Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. “Where sidewalks are placed adjacent to the curb, the widths should be approximately 6 m [2 ft.] wider than the minimum required width. Consequently, we can hypothesize that where the average lot size in a single-family residential development has a certain minimum value, sidewalks are not needed. Sidewalks reduce the likelihood of pedestrian crashes by more than half the likelihood in areas where sidewalks don’t exist [Knoblauch et al., 1987]. Recently, this has not been as a frequent occurrence as the community recognizes the value sidewalks bring to neighborhoods. Often, sidewalks are overlooked because we feel they’re just a way to get from point A to point B. But, yes, a sidewalk will change the neighborhood.

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