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Sidewalks to be discussed at Chambersburg workshop

September 10, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Rather than requiring sidewalks to be constructed everywhere in the borough at once, a committee studying the issue is leaning toward directing sidewalks in new developments and connecting already existing stretches.

The sidewalk policy will be the topic of a Chambersburg Borough Council public workshop next week.

The Curb and Sidewalk Advisory Committee has been meeting for the last 18 months examining options that are feasible and equitable for borough property owners, said Mayor Tom Newcomer.

"I urge council to support the repair and upgrade of existing sidewalks," he said at a recent council meeting. "We don't have to jump into new sidewalks."

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The council previously discussed mandating that all property owners install sidewalks on every borough street.

Newcomer said the committee is particularly interested in looking throughout the borough at streets where there are stops and starts of sidewalks and filling in those gaps.

The advisory committee also is encouraging all new subdivisions to have curbs and sidewalks.

Residents of Norland and Edgar avenues in the north end of the borough recently asked the council to consider improving sidewalks in their neighborhoods for safety reasons.

Norland Avenue resident Rick Brown said he was concerned about Roland Avenue, which is a popular road for students walking to J. Frank Faust Junior High School, but has no sidewalks.

He also raised the issue of sidewalk maintenance.

"Some sidewalks are not in good repair and I would like to see some routine sort of review of sidewalks," Brown said. "It also is not fair some owners have sidewalks while others don't."

Property owners are required to maintain their sidewalks at their own expense.

Twenty residents of that neighborhood signed a petition asking the council to take a look at its sidewalk policy, citing their concerns for pedestrians who are forced to walk in the street. They recommended borough employees and police be responsible for identifying sidewalks that are in need of repair.

Borough Manager Eric Oyer said the current sidewalk ordinance is enforced by "complaint and observation."

Generally other residents complain to the borough or council members about sidewalks that are in poor condition, he said.

Sidewalks will be one of the topics at the Sept. 17 public workshop at the Chambersburg Borough Hall, 100 S. Second St., Chambersburg, at 7 p.m.

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