A Better Region 8 Guest Editorial: We need sidewalks!

The City of Jonesboro has had sidewalk requirements since its incorporation but hasn't enforced sidewalk construction since the 1960s.

This has led to a new hospital and retirement community built without sidewalks. Churches, neighborhoods, restaurants, and businesses without sidewalks.

We can do better.

The issue currently facing the city is whether or not to pass an ordinance that requires sidewalk development on both sides of the street in NEW residential and commercial subdivisions.

Homebuilders should want to build sidewalks and homeowners should demand them because studies around the country show that they can return up to 15 times on the investment.  In my opinion, that's an easy and effective way to increase property value and tax revenue.

The City of Jonesboro is currently growing at a steady rate but it needs to grow smarter in order to attract higher paying jobs, a younger population, and to be competitive with neighboring communities. Sidewalks are not just a nice thing to have that bring a lot of bang for their buck – THEY ARE ONE KEY TO ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS.

I am a native of Jonesboro that moved away after high school. I returned 25 years later to be closer to my family.  I am very proud of Jonesboro's progress and I want to do my part to further it.

If, like me, you have an interest in the betterment of our community and in improving our city for future generations, please come to the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission meeting at City Hall on April 11th at 5:30 p.m. to show your support in approving the sidewalk ordinance for NEW development.

With your help, we can all work together to make a better Region 8.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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