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.

Winston Smith September 21, 2012 at 12:58 PM
I have lived on Blazey Trail for over 20 years, having raised 4 children. I've gotten along just fine without sidewalks. I don't want to pay for sidewalks that I don't need. If the City won't pay for them, leave it how it is.
MARIE HELLER September 21, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Westwood Drive between Prospect and Pearl should be top of the list. I see pedestrians walking to Pearl to get to the only public transportation in the area. Children trying to get to Center or the Library. Then because the stop n start sidewalks are there, if we have the unfortunate pleasure of being behind a school bus....they stop and unload each individual child, even if they do not have to cross the street, every other house. That is fine for their safety, but it sometimes takes 10 minutes longer. I agree, we DO need the sidewalks.
Diane M September 21, 2012 at 02:05 PM
You can add Whitney Rd to the list. There is so much traffic and no sidewalks!
Tracy September 21, 2012 at 02:40 PM
We need sidewalks.
Jillian September 21, 2012 at 02:48 PM
West 130th St is very busy and also needs sidewalks, and what about the street lights we were supposedto get, would be better use of money instead of a Welcome to Strongsville sign what a waste of money..........
EA September 21, 2012 at 04:48 PM
How about cutting back the over grown tree in this picture so we can actually use that side walk. It's hard riding our bikes around it. I get jabbed everytime but the pine needles.
Dick Satterwaite September 21, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I wish our council representative had c/hampioned this proposal too. No side walks and open drainage ditches equal lower property values. But the safety of the residents is the prime concern. I speak from experience. Several years ago, our grandson was returning from a babysitting job when he was struck by a drunk hit-skip driver. His problems linger still. There were no sidewalks...and still aren't.
Denise September 21, 2012 at 05:48 PM
YES !!! Put the sidewalks in. It would be an improvement to their property so the residents should pay for it just like I had to. SAFTEY people. That should be our cities #1 consideration. When school bussing was dropped becausen a levy did not pass, that in it self should have started the ball rolling.
Pete September 21, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Sidewalks should be added to Stone Hill because pedestrians lile myself have to walk up there to get to Brunswick. Also Whitney needs more added past the apartments and so does Westwood all the way to and beyond Prospect and Abion does as ell once it's finished. But yes ALL of Strongsville needs sidewalks. It's not all about motorists, it's also abut pedestrians.
Kat September 21, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I absolutely agree that we need sidewalks on all major streets which contain high traffic. We need to start somewhere.
John Wells September 21, 2012 at 08:44 PM
All of the main streets should have sidewalks on at least one side, all the way down. Whitney, West 130, Webster, Priem, Fair, Prospect, Drake, Westwood, etc.etc.etc. For all the money the mayor wants to spend on the Catan Freeway, they all be done with cash left over!
lyn September 21, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Maybe the city should be putting in sidewalks and fixing the existing streets with their disappearing curbs before they widen that last stretch of Pearl that isn't necessary! How about taken care of what the city and its citizens really need first and if we have extra money - then throw it at useless projects and things that the voters did not approve.
Debbie September 21, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Bicycles are NOT supposed to be ridden on the sidewalks!!! I have had too many riders come up from behind without warning while walking my dog. Things are fine. I agree with Council President Mike Daymut. This could become a Pandora's box.
Matt Schonhut September 22, 2012 at 01:30 AM
I am glad to see a lot of people in support of this. Obviously this is not something that will happen over night. I hope to work a plan with my fellow council members over the next few months to make Strongsville a safer and a better place to live!
Pete September 22, 2012 at 08:07 AM
Completely disagree if cyclists don't bother warning fellow pedestrians than they're not abiding the rules of biking on sidewalks on buy streets like Pearl. They should always signal whether they're in the Metroparks or in the city and people who don't are negligent they should not be in the road especially in major streets and should be on sidewalks where it's safe. There's no law forcing cyclists to ride in the road nor will they ever be one it's optional and always will be.
Pete September 22, 2012 at 08:08 AM
Hey buddy Peter from back at SHS. How is Stone Hill going to be handled will there be a sidewalk or bike lane there.
Pete September 22, 2012 at 08:20 AM
*like *about
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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