Prop 1 (Parks & Sidewalks) Follow-up Letter to the Editor
Our city (LFP) embarked on the funding plan (Prop1) to pay for parks and sidewalks. The sidewalks scheduled for Tier 1 of their plan were for our schools, a reasonable placement to add protection for the children. Although Prop 1 was voted down by the citizens, the city still has funds available for completion of that project.
From my view, living and walking in LFP for 52 years, I see little reason to squeeze the road lanes in order to place 5-10 feet of sidewalk when a simple half-moon asphalt divider strip can be laid at the same time the annually scheduled asphalt overlays are poured. To provide a suitable path for pedestrians or bikers, a 3 foot asphalt path beyond the curb has been proven over the years. (At far less taxpayer cost). We currently have such pathways in LFP and I doubt our police records could find they created higher pedestrian incidents than sidewalks over the years.
Adding sidewalks create several adverse impacts; the worse being the removal of trees to accommodate wide sidewalks. We have experienced tremendous loss of trees in the past with street widening along the Bothell Highway and the Burke-Gilman pathway. Given the value each tree brings to control Global Warming (removing Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere, storing the Carbon and releasing Oxygen), not to speak of a trees ability to hold slopes, provide shade and be admired for their beauty, trees add monetary value to all properties in our Park.
Our Council should move very carefully when considering sidewalks, especially now with our State attempts to pass binding legislation to change our zoning laws, tree ordinance, construction height limits, parking in streets (we will need all the street width possible to park all the new cars) and other unknown consequences….all to take property rights from single family properties. If passed, this new law would allow developers to rush in and build multiple housing on properties, almost doubling our population. (all to make money for developers and more tax dollars for our mayor and council to spend.)
Pathways, not sidewalks, retain our rural environment. Homeowners, not state legislators, should be able to determine the uses of their property. Our Council and Mayor should be working hard to protect these issues from destroying what makes LFP so appealing. You might inquire if they are.