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Not In My Front Yard

September 11th, 2016

Some neighbors who live along this road in Irondequoit would like sidewalks. Others would not. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
By Mike Governale

When Andrea Chervenak received a letter earlier this year from the Town of Irondequoit notifying her that a sidewalk was being proposed for her street, she was thrilled. Unfortunately for Andrea, her neighbors’ front lawns are more important than her children’s safety. To hammer this nonsensical point home, some people even made lawn signs…

Some neighbors who live along this road in Irondequoit would like sidewalks. Others would not. [IMAGE: RochesterSubway.com]
Most of the streets in Irondequoit already have sidewalks, but Oakridge Drive external link is in a wooded section near Lakeshore and there is a gap in the existing sidewalk for about a one-mile stretch. Oakridge Drive is the only access in and out of this neighborhood. The sidewalk project was proposed by residents who argue that a sidewalk is necessary to keep children, walkers and bikers safe.

Some neighbors who live along this road in Irondequoit would like sidewalks. Others would not. [IMAGE: Google Maps]
West Irondequoit school district does not offer bus transportation for students beyond the 3rd grade. As parents of three children (ages 12, 9, and 4) Andrea does not feel comfortable allowing them to walk the 1.5 miles to school because they’d have to walk along the narrow and curvy road with no sidewalk.

Some neighbors who live along this road in Irondequoit would like sidewalks. Others would not. [IMAGE: Google Maps]
“Drivers rarely adhere to the 25 mph speed limit and the numerous bends of the road decrease visibility,” Andrea explained in an email to RocSubway. “Everyday, I see commuters driving anywhere from 40-55 mph on our street. It’s infuriating.”

Some neighbors who live along this road in Irondequoit would like sidewalks. Others would not. [IMAGE: Google Maps]
To be fair, those who oppose the sidewalk have cited numerous reasons external link including possible conflict with underground septic systems, trees that would need to be removed, taxes that are already too high, and a general disbelief that cars really do speed on this street.

But as Andrea also points out, and I agree, providing safe passage for children to walk to school should be the priority for any community. Just try telling that to a guy and his magic marker.

• • •

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This entry was posted on Sunday, September 11th, 2016 at 8:16 pm and is filed under Opinion, Rochester Images, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

6 Responses to “Not In My Front Yard”

  1. Julia says:

    I grew up near Oakridge, and it’s not by FAR, the only street in need of sidewalks. There are several streets that either have no sidewalks or only a small section has sidewalks. Given the number of kids who are expected to walk to school, there should be sidewalks. Plus, it might encourage other people to walk more on some of those streets.

  2. Christopher Playford says:

    Double edge sword here. As former carrier on this street, have seen drivers speeding along here. Winter with lots of snow is a problem as kids have no where to go. But by the same token, what makes this a great neighborhood are the trees and for those homes right on the road, landscaping. Issue here would be the septic systems, loss of trees and just as importantly, loss of privacy. Many homes are right on the street just about and with the new proposed sidewalk, all the owner have to do is open the front door and a couple of steps, be right on the sidewalk!! My opinion would be that property value will plummeted as there won’t be any privacy without the landscaping and trees.
    Speed humps, not bumps seems the way to go as snow plows can navigate over those. And slow down those drivers!!

  3. Rick says:

    I was living on Creek Street in Penfield when the sidewalks were installed. While there were some inconveniences, it was far and away a good idea, and made the street much safer. People use it as a cut-thru between Empire and Browncroft and speed way too much.

    Studies have shown that sidewalks INCREASE property value as it makes it a much more walkable community. I know it got my neighbors out a lot more and I felt safer going for runs.

    Of course one neighbor did hold out and his property was condemned and taken for the public good.

    There is a reason new communities are all installing sidewalks…

  4. Daniel says:

    He needs that space at the edge of his yard to put in more mini American flags. Forget that elderly or disabled neighbors need a sidewalk for safe passage, that’s his favorite 5 feet of lawn!

  5. Damian Kumor says:

    It won’t make it much safer in the winter if they don’t clear the sidewalks. I can tell you in Webster they suck at plowing them, people don’t shovel them, and in spring the sidewalks turn into a sheet of ice for 2 months because of freeze/thaw cycles.

  6. Irene Allen says:

    I can understand the concerns about harming mature trees, which are irreplaceable. Too bad the town ever allowed streets without sidewalks in the first place.


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