COLUMBIA - Plans for a new sidewalk on the north side of West Worley Street are moving forward after the City Council unanimously voted to approve them, despite objections from some local residents.
The plans call for the sidewalk to begin at Clinkscales Road and run approximately 2,000 feet east towards West Boulevard.
Olson, a resident of West Worley Street, spoke at the council meeting in opposition to the plans. She said the new
sidewalk would take away over three feet of her yard.
“That’s a heck of a chunk of my yard that I’m not willing to give to the city,” Olson said.
Olson also brought a petition with 27 signatures to protest the sidewalk plans.
James and Evelyn Tatum live on West Worley Street and went to the meeting to protest the plans.
“I think it’s needless because there’s a sidewalk on the other side (of the street),” James Tatum said after the council's decision. “I don’t care if 50 years from now they think it’ll be busy.”
The Tatums said the sidewalk will run through their shrubs and will destroy a 100-year-old tree in their front yard. Evelyn Tatum said the sidewalk would also shorten the length of her driveway, preventing her from parking more than one car on it.
Planning and Development Department Director Tim Teddy and Public Works Director John Glascock responded to these concerns, saying that the sidewalk would run around trees and that the city would work to ensure that the sidewalk is as non-intrusive as possible. The council also decided to change the width of the sidewalk from 5 feet to 4 feet.
First Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz said the proposed sidewalk is important to making the city more pedestrian friendly.
“We as a community have a goal of encouraging pedestrians all over,” Sturtz said.
Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade agreed that the sidewalk is important and said it will continue to be important in the future.
“This is an area where, in fact, the long term value of sidewalks will be very high,” Wade said.
The project will cost an estimated $272,000 and will be paid for by funds from a Community Development Block Grant, according to the city staff report.
John Glascock, director of Public Works, said another public hearing will be held in the future so residents can discuss the plans.