One of my columns titled, Westside Story – Hey You, Get Off The Sidewalk appeared on a Friday, March 28, 2019.
A writer never knows what kind of public reaction will follow a freshly written column. My column, having to do with the impact of the No Pedestrian / No Walking signs, related to the recent improvements on Gravelly Lake Drive. The article generated a lot of shared thoughts and opinions. I expect the commenters did not realize I was in agreement with most of their views. My main message, based on the information I had, was that it did not seem appropriate to criticize, condemn, or complain about our Lakewood City Council or our Lakewood City staff in connection with this particular project.
Setting that discussion to the side, I would like to focus on another concept as it relates to the Gravelly Lake Drive SW roadway improvements.
I have been a resident of Lakewood for 50 years which is long enough to have learned that at one time ago, there was only a single traffic light on Gravelly Lake Drive. The street was a two-way roadway with a single lane in each direction. Down through the decades, our local leaders have generated a long series of improvements as Lakewood grew and Gravelly Lake Drive needed to be improved.
Lakewood City Council and Lakewood City staff are responsible for the new set of improvements which is beginning to make the roadway an asset in our community. Regardless of the source of the money to pay for the improvements our community benefits from the advances in several ways.
- For many years certain areas surrounding Gravelly Lake were hazardous for walkers, joggers, bicycle riders and baby strollers. The improvements help either mitigate or eliminate public danger. The upgrades help set up our city to save lives.
- The city’s effort to circumnavigate Gravelly Lake with a user-friendly sidewalk system encourages exercise which enhances health and fights the obesity epidemic afflicting America.
- The professional sidewalk system adds class to our city making it a more desirable, safer, more pleasant, and user-friendly place to live. Sure it would be cheaper to just leave the Kill Zone conditions in place along with the old original dirt road, but the improvements down through the years make our city a more desirable place to live and raise a family.
Lastly, I wish to repeat that the improvement plans were supported by a financial grant program. Sure that means the improvements were tax-payer funded, but if Lakewood leadership had not made an active effort to share in the available taxpayer funds by applying for the grant, the taxpayer funds would have gone somewhere else.
Thank you Lakewood City Council and Lakewood City Staff.
It often appears members of the Lakewood City Council are essentially volunteering for a thankless job in their effort to serve our community. While we may not agree all the time with all the decisions and all the actions of our Lakewood City Council, let’s be fair and appreciate their accomplishments for our city. Implementing the Gravelly Lake Drive SW roadway improvements by leveraging grant money along with a small amount of Lakewood money was a genius move.