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Who should pay for sidewalks

Original post made by just wondering, Menlo Park: Downtown, on Feb 17, 2008

Now that the City is at least moving ahead with a sidewalk master plan, I am wondering about who is to pay the bill.

The Willows area as I understand it in the past wanted a rural atmosphere and now with increased traffic and many more youngsters walking on their way to school, the need for sidewalks has become a priority.

The same need can be applied along Santa Cruz as well.

I have heard no one say anything about funding for these projects. It surely seems to me that homeowners in these local areas, should be paying at least part of the expense. It is an improvement to their homes and will increase their property values.

If these property owners are going to be assessed say 50 percent of costs, is community support going to disappear?

There is no free lunch here. This should be resolved sooner and not later in this process.

just wondering

Comments (9)

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Posted by also wondering
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 17, 2008 at 7:08 pm

Since many of us have had to pay to maintain and even replace the so-called parking strips (aka "sidewalks")in front of our own houses, it would seem only fair that other property owners with new sidewalks pay a pretty penny when these are installed.

They have escaped payments so far even though others of us have had to pay numerous times for the upkeep of "sidewalks" in front of our homes that others (and their guests and city staff and contractors) use and abuse.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 18, 2008 at 12:23 pm

john boyle's brigade out in full force yet again. parroting his quotes almost word for word.

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Posted by just wondering
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm

Well if Boyle's position is part of the cost should be born by homeowners, than I must confess it is probably the first opinion of his on which I have ever agreed. Amazing

just wondering

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Posted by also wondering
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 19, 2008 at 8:16 am

I am most definitely not part of John Boyle's brigade on any issue, and find it amusing (and sad) that "truth" feels a need to personalize and polarize issues.

To be clear, when a new sidewalk installation involves a lot of other infrastructure improvements, such as moving or undergrounding utility poles and improving storm drains, I think it's also fair that the greater community share in some of the costs.

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Posted by Gimpy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 19, 2008 at 11:10 am

I would love to see sidewalks along Santa Cruz Ave., at least between downtown and Avy, but even more than that, I'd like to see the city TAKE CARE OF ALL THE FREAKING POTHOLES IN THE STREETS.

It's gotten beyond inconvenient, it's hazardous in a lot of places. Maybe Menlo Park should have a moratorium on taking on new projects until it can keep up with the basics, like maintaining streets.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 19, 2008 at 4:05 pm

lighten up guys. my gosh you all take this stuff so personally.

i believe the city should pay for sidewalks and i can find very little evidence of any other city that makes homeowners pay for sidewalks. what is next, make homeowners pay for stop signs and crosswalks? and sewers and gutters? pray tell what exactly do you think we pay taxes for now? big union contracts and that is it? fix my potholes, fix my sidewalks, keep my roads safe for my kids and stop trying to tell me what my government does or does not do. if there is full approval by a neighborhood and it is deemed unsafe, that is exactly what local government is elected to do...spend our taxes on infrastructure and maintenance.

truth be told, i can think of dozens of other pet projects that breezed right through under boyle's a huge dumbarton rail study that will cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars for an uncertain rail system. but take a bold stand on sidewalks and get those parents to cough it up. sheesh.

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Posted by Diane
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Cities I'm familiar with charge homeowners for part of the cost of installing sidewalks. Sidewalks boost property values; it seems only fair.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 20, 2008 at 2:40 pm

that is shading the fact underlying this debate, diane. we are talking about ranked streets in menlo park selected based on a number of factors including number of cars. this is not one house and one sidewalk or even a few houses. i can see a small gap on a street that does not meet the rankings as being a "upgrade option" that would require homeowner assistance, but that is not what we are talking about here.

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Posted by Truthieness
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 1, 2008 at 9:44 pm

if some of you are wondering why such a wealthy community such as ours
with a very rich tax base does not pay for sidewalks, a clear public benefit, as justifiable as the street adjacent, we all have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves why we voted in the people we voted in. here is a list of recent expenditures

- $15,000 in carbon credits to Pacific Gas and Electric
- $45,000 to pave a walking trail, requested not by
hikers but by staff
- $50,000 for yet another bike tunnel study to add to the one already
on the books
- $millions to top off the pension of the employees, the benefit formula
changed from 2% to 2.7% of per year of service!

How many of you know that while about 12 percent of your RE tax goes to the
city, 16 percent goes to the Fire District? the District just acquired several parcels
of land adjacent to their current HQ at 300 Middlefield and intend to build a new HQ
on the new land. Why spend $$ on public safety when they can feather their nests

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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