In Lakewood, it doesn’t.
As Lakewood leaders look to create a city of “hipster charm,” what with its $9-million sidewalk proposal around Gravelly Lake and a property tax increase to that end, an opportunity exists by which to express what you, the taxpayer, think they, your elected representatives, can do with those sidewalks.
From April Fool’s Day to National Honesty Day, April 1-30, the public may comment on the future of sidewalks in the city and other stuff. A public hearing is planned April 20. By May 4 it’s a done deal and after that the concrete begins to be poured – for the poor, presumably, to walk to work, buy groceries, get exercise or whatever else constitutes sidewalks as “needs.”
The Five Year Consolidated Plan ostensibly “identifies housing and community development needs and strategies for meeting those needs.”
Is a $9-million “non-motorized trail” bordering Gravelly Lake Drive – thus a circular path (one that goes in a circle) – a “need”?
And is the strategy to achieve this “need” – which no less than 21-pages address in the City Council packet this past February 21 – that of raising property taxes and how to frame the vote, who votes, where they vote, means to get out the vote, etc., acceptable?
In an article entitled “The People Designing Your Cities Don’t Care What You Want,” author Joel Kotkin describes “the preferred form of urbanism” – that “a city must be primarily ‘a luxury product,’ a place that focuses on the very wealthy whose surplus can underwrite the rest of the population.”
“The rest of the population” of Lakewood is pretty grim as described in statistics provided the council March 9 and as written about previously.
Kind of like the game we used to play as kids – avoid stepping on the cracks – to read between the cracks of the city sidewalk plan is to realize that there is a new version afoot of Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends.”
In Lakewood, it doesn’t. Unless you let your representatives know.