, Gloucester, MA

August 14, 2013

Letter: Unsafe sidewalks needs city's attention

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

I am writing to urge the city of Gloucester to improve our city sidewalks.

The streets are safer for both walking and bike riding, but sidewalks are often over-run with overgrowth of rose bushes, forsithia bushes and other trees and bushes.

I frequent Bass Avenue, Eastern Avenue, and Webster Street. There are others, but these three are particularly problematic.

The sidewalks are unsafe for a mother and child to walk hand in hand in many sections. The overgrowth attacks, rubs unnecessarily the people passing by.

If owners cannot take responsibility to keep hedges and plant and tree overgrowth trimmed properly, I believe the city of Gloucester should issue warnings, with follow-up fines as a means to encourage owners to properly maintain their trees, hedges, plants, whatever obstructs safe walking on city sidewalks.

I also feel that perhaps more grant applications should be submitted to repave sidewalks, such that citizens would be more inclined to walk.

Seniors may be less steady on their feet than 20 years ago, but they still like to walk. Many sidewalks are way too bumpy and full of cracks, making walking too dangerous.

Some kind of reward incentives could be encouraged for workers choosing to walk to work, instead of driving.

On Webster Street, there is Veterans’ Elementary School. The car traffic is horrendous there.

If parents were to drop off and pick up their children behind the school, traffic congestion would not be so horrific. The hedge overgrowth on Webster Street is unbelievably awful!

In winter, the sidewalks are horribly uneven, plowed poorly. Street plows maybe better than nothing, but sidewalk plows do exist, and can better plow sidewalks.

With all the talk about encouraging “green” to improve our planet, and reduce global warming, it is time to focus on improving our city sidewalks.

“Green” does not mean creating and allowing jungle conditions on the sidewalks.