Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Tarnished Crown

My rant on what is wrong in the Queen City

Unkept Decorative Sidewalks

Walk around Downtown and you will find a number of decorative sidewalks. Sometimes the sidewalks have pavers the entire width of the sidewalk and sometimes it is just as a border. Sometimes the concrete has a decorative finish. Whatever the case, while I do not mind having decorative sidewalks what irritates me is not properly maintaining them.

There are many decorative sidewalks downtown. In a lot of cases these were installed associated either with adjacent new construction or as part of an entire streetscape project. There are actually a variety of styles around. And as mentioned the extent of the paving varies depending on location. This also includes a very old decorative concrete finish on the sidewalk around the old Terrace Plaza. In some cases, the paving seems to be holding up pretty well. Garfield Place come to mind. But there are other locations were the sidewalks are not holding up and are in need of repair.

And here is most of my issue. They simply are not being repaired. Or if they are they are not making the repairs to match the existing which detracts nearly as much as not doing anything. Walk around and see how many times there are loose pavers or missing pavers that have been filled in with concrete or asphalt and not the original material. The issues are about maintenance and then aesthetics. Along with the safety issues associated with the lack of sidewalk maintenance, it really just makes the streetscape look unkept and neglected.

Chapter 721 of the Cincinnati Municipal Code requires that the maintenance and repair of sidewalks are generally the responsibility of the abutting property owner. I am not sure how this is enforced primarily downtown. But there are many places that could be cited.

In the end if you want or have decorative sidewalks, then take care of them as they are intended. Or to be honest I'd rather have nice, poured-in-place concrete than the pavers. At least it might be easier and more cost effective to maintain in the long run. (See the sidewalks around the 'Kroger' Garage.) Or maybe a compromise of concrete and pavers can be used like at Central Parkway. I think they look pretty good. And future maintenance should be minimized.

So while again there are bigger issues out there, this just bugs me. Carry on.

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