Jul 28, 2014

Should Every Strongsville Street Have Sidewalks?

Long-discussed issue may get another look

Should Every Strongsville Street Have Sidewalks?


Strongsville's stop-start sidewalks could be getting some scrutiny soon.

Ward 2 Councilman Matt Schonhut said this month he hears complaints from residents about the lack of sidewalks on some streets and hopes to put together a plan to fill in the blanks.

"I think it's important to have sidewalks throughout the city," Schonhut said. "It's about safety, and it makes a city more appealing."

The issue came up when developers of Cedar Estates, the luxury subdivision off Prospect Road, sought permission to omit 270 feet of sidewalks on one side of the street to enhance the landscaping.

Schonhut cast the lone vote against the request.

"It's just something I don't agree with," he said. "I want to get a plan for having sidewalks throughout the city."

It's not a new issue. Council President Mike Daymut said the idea has been kicked around over the years, but it's trickier than it seems.

"We were basically a farming community," he said. "You couldn't ask people to put sidewalks in front of all their acres."

Sidewalks were required when subdivisions were built. And the city has an ordinance that says whenever a homeowner replaces his driveway, sidewalks are supposed to be added, but that hasn't always been enforced.

There are also some topography issues, he said, like open ditches in some areas, and subsequent drainage questions. There are a number of vacant lots. And some streets need several miles of sidewalks -- a costly proposition.

"Some people want the city to pay, but it's not feasible," Daymut said. "We have 25 square miles."

Still, Daymut said he believes a solution can be worked out to add sidewalks to most -- if not all -- of the areas where they are lacking.

Schonhut said he often hears concerns from bicyclists and parents about having to ride in the street on Drake Road in order to get to the Cleveland Metroparks.

"I think it's a safety issue not to have sidewalks," he said.

Don’t miss updates from Patch!