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About Sidewalks

About Sidewalks image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

To the Editor: The question has been asked your correspondent by several citizens: Can the city legally compel ;he owners or occupants of property in this city to construct, at their own expense, sidewalks in front of their preñases? The city certainly claims ownership of the street f rom fence to fence, and exercises absolute control thereof. Even if a man desires to plant shade trees on the street in front of bis property, the city prescribes the exact distance at which they shall be placed from the property owner's street line; and notwithstanding the f act that the property owner pays for the trees himself and also for the planting and subsequent care of them until theirgrowth is assured, yet he is denied by the city any ownership in them, and is forbidden to remove or even to trim them, should he at any time de sire to do so. What these people wis! to know, then, is, if the city owns th streets and their shade trees and side walks, why the city should not itsel build the sidewalks, do all grading and plant all shade trees? It is unde niable that when a man builds hi sidewalk it immediately becomes cit property, and he has no more owner ship of it than any other citizen. In fact, in a single day lmndreds will use it when he uses it once. In short, lt is built not for hini, but for the public. Then why should not the public pay forit? The building of sidewalks under the existing ordinauce is a heavy burelen upon very many citizens, some of whom have been compelled by their circumstancas to borrow the mouey at interest to enable theni to comply wlth the order of the council. This seems to your correspondent to be a matter worthy of delibérate consideration by ;he city fathers. The claim of these people is that the city, owning the treets, should itself put down all sidewalks, and spread the expense upon he general tax. It may do no good to open. up this question at this time; but ;he voice of the people should at least je heard in the matter, and this communication certainly expresses it in ome degree.