"Upper Arlington has neighborhood schools and does not bus children to school. The result of neighborhood schools and parents unwilling to let their children walk to school has led to traffic issues on streets adjacent to schools in both morning and afternoon hours...
In reality, very few children should need to be driven to school since the majority live within a 10-minute walk or a short bike ride (if facilities existed) of their neighborhood school."
--- UA Transportation Plan
Upper Arlington currently has sidewalks along approximately only 20 percent of its roadway. This poses a significant safety risk for everybody that travels by foot, by bicycle, by car or public transportation. We need complete streets in UA with curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
In UA we inherited a city with no plan for sidewalks, and until recently there never has been a consistent plan to address this issue.
Now UA has a modest and reasonable Sidewalk Policy on the books to build sidewalks along UA's busiest streets:
When rebuilding an arterial or collector street, the City will look at the feasibility of adding a sidewalk on at least one side of the street.
But conservatives Ciotola and Steen have have fought this common sense and generally well-received approach. In 2007 Frank Ciotola, Tim Rankin and Wade Steen tried to remove the money to build sidewalks along Kenny Road. Their amendment failed:
- Voting to kill the sidewalk funding: Ciotola, Rankin, Steen
- Voting to preserve the sidewalk funding: Krauss, Leach, Mauger, Seidel
And again this year, Ciotola and Steen opposed the Sidewalk Policy, but decided not to offer an amendment to remove sidewalks from the Kenny Road rehab project.
"...However, I don't think I would getting support on that, knowing the past voting history of Council, so I will not offer up an amendment [to remove sidewalks from the Ordinance]."
--- Frank Ciotola, July 13, 2009, UA City Council Meeting Minutes
Besides offering a safer, walkable community, sidewalks make economic sense, too. The residents on Glenn Avenue have even created their own website
promoting sidewalks in their neighborhood near Barrington school. Here's one of many interesting tidbits gleaned from their site:
People are willing to pay more to live in walkable communities. The Urban Land Institute compared four new urban communities (those built within existing urban settings) with their surrounding competitors and found that people spent an average of $20,189 more to live in pedestrian-friendly new urban communities. (Valuing the New Urbanism, 1999). More recent studies show similar results.