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2015-01-29

Sidewalk project

Letters to the Editor

What or who is driving this sidewalk project? The city committees mentioned - EDC and P&Z - apparently haven't even taken the time to inquire of Main Street property and business owners whether or not they would support such a project.
I draw this conclusion from article comments such as "the entire community must become involved," "nothing can be done until we have the backing of the business owners" and a "suggested open forum for stakeholders after presentation of a landscape rendering." Why not ask now where they stand before expending more time and money?
Main Street parking is at a premium, and any project requirement for parallel parking would easily reduce parking availability by 50 percent. Reduced parking does not improve accessibility. Main Street may look nice with trees and benches and the like, but if you can't park there to enjoy them...?
Is there truly a need for contiguous sidewalks to go from one end of town to the other, and, realistically, who would use them if they were there? Would they really make pedestrian access easier to schools, groceries, banks and the post office? Maybe, yes, if residents lived on Main Street. I'm pretty sure no Banderan is going to park at one end of town and walk to the other end.
No mention of any projected cost has been stated, but the Economic Development Corporation budgeted $37,000 for use on this project in 2014, and the current EDC budget shows a request for $250,000 for this project. Is this the best use of our sales tax dollars that are collected and allocated for "economic development"?
Can either committee stipulate what new business or jobs or additional tourists this would bring to Bandera in terms of cost justification? Just scatter-shooting and wondering.

Bob Grimes
Bandera