Should Every Strongsville Street Have Sidewalks?

Long-discussed issue may get another look


Strongsville's stop-start sidewalks could be getting some scrutiny soon.

Ward 2 Councilman Matt Schonhut said this month he hears complaints from residents about the lack of sidewalks on some streets and hopes to put together a plan to fill in the blanks.

"I think it's important to have sidewalks throughout the city," Schonhut said. "It's about safety, and it makes a city more appealing."

The issue came up when developers of Cedar Estates, the luxury subdivision off Prospect Road, sought permission to omit 270 feet of sidewalks on one side of the street to enhance the landscaping.

Schonhut cast the lone vote against the request.

"It's just something I don't agree with," he said. "I want to get a plan for having sidewalks throughout the city."

It's not a new issue. Council President Mike Daymut said the idea has been kicked around over the years, but it's trickier than it seems.

"We were basically a farming community," he said. "You couldn't ask people to put sidewalks in front of all their acres."

Sidewalks were required when subdivisions were built. And the city has an ordinance that says whenever a homeowner replaces his driveway, sidewalks are supposed to be added, but that hasn't always been enforced.

There are also some topography issues, he said, like open ditches in some areas, and subsequent drainage questions. There are a number of vacant lots. And some streets need several miles of sidewalks -- a costly proposition.

"Some people want the city to pay, but it's not feasible," Daymut said. "We have 25 square miles."

Still, Daymut said he believes a solution can be worked out to add sidewalks to most -- if not all -- of the areas where they are lacking.

Schonhut said he often hears concerns from bicyclists and parents about having to ride in the street on Drake Road in order to get to the Cleveland Metroparks.

"I think it's a safety issue not to have sidewalks," he said.

Pete September 22, 2012 at 08:21 AM
Pearl needs it's sidewalk extended as well going all the way up Stone Hill instead of ending at Drake Road.
H R September 23, 2012 at 03:55 AM
I have been wanting this for years. Even on the 35mph roads where there is a slight shoulder, drivers still exceed the speed limit and most don't pay attention to whomever (kids, dog walkers, adults, bike riders) is just to the right of them on the shoulder. YES, we do need sidewalks, at least continuously on one side of a road like one commenter above stated. THANK YOU Mattt Schonhut for having the courage to be the lone vote against omitting almost 300' of sidewalks in the new development.
MICHELLE September 25, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Once upon a time in Strongsville there was an Ordinance about children riding their bicycles in the street and must be on sidewalks this goes back to the 1970's...How do I know this?? I was an 8 year old child in the mid 70's who was riding her bicycle on Westwood Park Blvd. as there were only TWO houses in the development (my parents and next door neighbor) that had sidewalks. I was the hit-skip victim and rec'd a TICKET from the Strongsville Police for riding in the street!!! The ticket was thrown out in Juvenile Court and eventually ALL of the Westwood Estates(the first housing development in Strongsville by Muraski) had sidewalks put it....Matt Schonhut, I suggest you go back and do some homework regarding sidewalks in the residential developments....I believe the Ordinance should still be in place...
tom m September 25, 2012 at 08:34 PM
I have no problems with people (kids and adults ) riding on a sidewalk on any state routes 82,42,237 etc but I think as soon as the training wheels are off kids should be taught the proper way to ride in the street (they are going to do it when your not around anyway) with traffic single file turn signals how far to stay away from the curb
Pete September 26, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Well apparently some idiot decided it was illegal for people to ride on sidewalks but that's never enforced so it kind of still is..


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