Sidewalks are infrastructure & they’re important

sidewalk

Today’s post is written by Barbara Didrichsen, communications consultant and proud resident of Pleasant Ridge.

I grew up in the northern suburbs of Cincinnati that popped up in the 1950’s-60’s, and have spent most of my adult life within the city limits. Since 1987, that’s been Pleasant Ridge.

I moved in during one of the periodic waves of younger families replacing aging residents, and have lived here long enough to watch that process begin all over again. Still, I stay here and continue to turn my “starter” home into the home of my dreams.

And I walk. A LOT. All over my own and neighboring communities. Before that, I’d go out running in the early pre-dawn mornings before work. It only took a couple of spills before I learned the rules of the road that most runners and many walkers still follow: stick to the streets. The sidewalks can be dangerous.

Why? Well, I’ve lived here for nearly 28 years. Not once has there been a city or neighborhood-wide sidewalk replacement in all those years. I know there used to be; I remember my father and stepmother getting a notice about their street’s sidewalks being replaced, along with a bill for their share of the total.

Six years ago, I started documenting the sidewalks in the Ridge and neighboring Kennedy Heights, and put this slideshow together. It hasn’t gotten better in the intervening years, although a multi-year gas line replacement project has resulted in some new squares to accommodate the construction. Somehow, that only seems to make it look worse, like someone with one shoe on and one shoe off.

Sidewalks are the front doors to the homes that we hope will entice new residents to the city. No matter how much work we put into our properties, it can’t help but look like civic neglect when we don’t show the same pride in the walkways outside them.

What would it take for the city to resume periodic sidewalk updates for each community within the city’s limits?

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