New Hartford is considering an amendment to subdivision zoning laws that would require all new developments to construct sidewalks . . .This sounds like every house in a new suburban development will have sidewalks in front of it. Is this really needed?
. . . The village has sidewalks, but not the town. . .And there is good reason for that: Population Density.
Sidewalks are found in villages because the population density justifies them: too many people trying to share the road with vehicles would be unsafe and decreases traffic capacity. There are sufficient numbers of people benefiting to warrant their sharing the cost.
While the editors feel that sidewalks would promote a "close knit" feeling in the community, it is really population density (people living close to each other) that does that. If someone chooses to live in a development with 5 acre lots to have room from their neighbors, they do NOT want a "close knit" feeling. Sidewalks in such a place would represent a expense not justified by a need.
Chapman Road is cited as
"a wonderful addition, and you see people walking/running along them all the time""All the time" is an exaggeration. How about winter? I seem to recollect a discussion between residents along Chapman and town fathers where the residents were not happy about the sidewalks because (1) they did not choose to have them, (2) they did not want to shovel them, and (3) they did not want the accessibility.
It seems that to satisfy the desires of some recreationists, the public is being asked to expand its infrastructure. The costs of this will ultimately fall on either Town taxpayers in general or the adjoining homeowners.