Kalona city officials agree that there needs to be more and better sidewalks in the city.
The question is how to best go about improving the city’s sidewalk inventory.
At a Monday work session, City Council members reviewed a recent sidewalk inventory study conducted by Garden & Associates.
Maps showed a patchwork of sidewalks around the city.
“The downtown and newer subdivisions have sidewalks on both sides,” Jack Pope, an engineer with Garden & Associates, said. “We focused our attention on trying to get sidewalks on both sides of streets.”
He explained that in devising the proposed plan, he was trying to find the best connection points in areas where there are no connections.
“You want to build where people are most likely to use it,” Council member Joe Schmidt said.
City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh pointed out that there are also existing sidewalks that need to be repaired and replaced.
“Where we’d like people to walk, they’re not up to standard,” Schlabaugh. “They’d rather walk in the road.”
Pope said, “Fourth and Third (streets) are the worst.”
Schlabaugh said that some of the older sidewalks in the city are only three and a half feet wide, while some of the newer ones are five feet wide.
Schlabaugh said that the city needs to put together a plan to determine priorities in adding new sidewalks versus repairing deficient sidewalks.
“We need to know where the money should go first,” Mayor Ken Herington agreed.
Schlabaugh suggested that the city host an open house where residents can come in and talk about where they walk or would like to be able to walk.
“We could have a public forum for people to show where they walk,” he said.
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