Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

December 13, 2018 Editorial: Sidewalks important to city walkability
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

Sidewalks are important.

They improve the livability of a city, offering places for residents to walk. This walkability connects residents with other residents and with a town’s amenities.

Sidewalks make for a healthier community.

They also are expensive. The expense is a reason developers don’t include them in plans for projects and fight them when councils require them.

City councils need to demand them.

Kudos to Kalona Councilwoman Janelle Bender for pushing to have sidewalks included in plans for 12 lots between H and J avenues.

“This is a place to start because we eventually want sidewalks everywhere,” she told the council. “Sidewalks should be a no-brainer.”

The council reached a consensus to require sidewalks on H Avenue but not on J Avenue.

“Please, someone explain the purpose of sidewalks on J Avenue,” Councilman Greg Schmidt asked.

OK; here’s the explanation: Nearly every day, children walking to school along J Avenue walk in the street. This is not safe.

While it is true that sidewalks along this development would not connect to sidewalks on adjacent properties today, it is hoped that in the future, there will be sidewalks along both sides of J Avenue, a popular street for walkers of all ages.

Kalona ordinances require all developments to have sidewalks. Past city councils have decided not to enforce those ordinances.

All new developments should have sidewalks, and the city needs to develop a plan for retrofitting the rest of the city with sidewalks.

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