Does Jonesboro Have Enough Sidewalks? - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR - Shannon Johnson Reports

Does Jonesboro Have Enough Sidewalks?

September 9, 2004 -- Posted at 6:39 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO-- The past few days have been beautiful for an early morning or late afternoon walk, but that casual stroll could be a little dangerous in some Jonesboro neighborhoods. Most residential areas don't have sidewalks. It's the same with commercial properties.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission decides whether or not commercial and residential developers have to install sidewalks. Ron Shipley with the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission said most residential neighborhoods don't have enough people who walk or bike to warrant sidewalks. Shipley said the commission must look at a number of factors when determining where sidewalks should be placed, including proximity to roads, the amount of traffic on the sidewalk and the risk factor to pedestrians.

"Installing numerous sidewalks would drain the city's budget, but the neighborhoods can always come together and build their own sidewalks. That would not be a problem," said Shipley.

Right now, the only properties required to have sidewalks are multi-dwelling residential areas, such as apartments, that have five or more units. The city recently laid $600,000 worth of sidewalks on 6 main roads in Jonesboro. The funding for that project came from a grant from the Arkansas State Highway Department.

The city applied for more grant money this year, but funds were not available. City officials said they will apply for the grant again next year. City developers said if they do get more sidewalk funding, the money would likely go toward sidewalks in downtown Jonesboro.

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