Tensions are brewing in the Town of Vienna should pursue adding sidewalks.
Most, and possibly all, of the neighbors on Alma Street SE have voiced opposition to a new sidewalk there, signing a petition to try to prevent the project that’s being evaluated for the western side of the street.
Meanwhile, others argue that a lack of sidewalks creates safety and accessibility issues, where vehicles and pedestrians share the road and visual obstructions can heighten the potential for danger.
Town leaders have been racing to advance a slate of sidewalk projects — primarily in residential neighborhoods — and use money in a $7 million trust left by former Councilmember Maud Robinson after her death in 2019.
The money dedicated to the Robinson Trust Sidewalk Initiative, which seeks to fill gaps in the town’s network, expires in fall 2024.
How should the town proceed? Should Vienna use its right-of-way to build sidewalks as a public good, even if they cut into a resident’s lawn or driveway, or should the town only build projects when it has the support of adjacent properties?
Photo via Google Maps