The Disgrace of our Sidewalks

You will have to excuse me while I indulge in a bout of exasperation.      The condition of our sidewalks throughout the city of Newburyport is disgraceful.     It would be excuseable if we were in some other town which is not walkable, but we are a pedestrian city!      Not only is Newburyport historic and beautiful but its embraceable.     It’s neighborhoods invite you to walk amongst the impressive architecture, stroll under the trees and marvel at the intrinsic beauty of our neighborhoods.     You would think that City Hall would focus on making sure the citizens and their children along with visitors would have a safe and enjoyable experience walking our sidewalks.
 
We have had mayors announce that something would be done with the sidewalks, administration after administration; but yet, very little is accomplished.   Mayor Moak has been the latest to proclaim it would be one of the most important issues his administration would tackle.     Instead, he paves here and there randomly and the streets remain a hodge podge of 1930’s WPA concrete sidewalks, cheap DPW blacktop laydowns and the remains of our historic brick sidewalks.      

 

And yet, there is no excuse for it!     The Mayor has not taken the Master Plan seriously and it has the solution laid out quite clearly.     A comprehensive Sidewalk Maintenance Plan!       Instead of standing on one foot waiting for a burst of funding, the city would have a systematic maintance plan in which the redo of sidewalks would be orderly, year after year, a few blocks a year much like the paving plan for our roads.      Something concrete by which funding could be estimated and efforts made to secure.    Instead, we wait until the surface becomes so odiuous that a hasty redo is made.

I am hoping that the next Mayor will take the Master Plan seriously and enact the Sidewalk Maintenance Plan
 
This is not a preservation issue, it’s a good governance issue.
 
-P. Preservationist
 
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About P. Preservationist

Dedicated to the Enrichment & Preservation of Newburyport
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