Huntington Woods gets part of their sidewalk
Huntington Woods residents got the majority of the sidewalk they wanted since the neighborhood was established Monday night. The municipal council of Saline voted to approve the construction of a new sidewalk to connect the district to the south end of the bridge by the sewage treatment plant.
“This allows us to pass the most dangerous points in the area. It takes us past the blind curve and to the bridge. At this point it’s a direct route, ”said Jeff Weiss, president of the Huntington Woods Association.
Whether or not a future extension of the sidewalk connects the new infrastructure to the city was not a priority for Weiss. Since their neighborhood was developed, residents have complained that they could not walk safely to the city center, as a blind bend in the road and the lack of a formal sidewalk made it unsafe for pedestrians.
Weiss was one of many Huntington Woods residents who spoke out in favor of the sidewalk on Monday night. The sidewalk has been in a bureaucratic quagmire for years because the stretch of road crosses several jurisdictions, including the Township of Saline and the Washtenaw County Road Commission.
This means that the sidewalk will not directly reach Saline’s established sidewalk network. This and concerns about contaminated soil on part of the road leading into town was why Councilor Janet Dillon was the only council member to vote against the decision. Dillon said the project should have been part of the city council’s general budget, which was also approved on Monday evening.
“I understand why people wanted to move forward. I am also anxious to find a safe passage from Huntington Woods into the city. I voted no because I didn’t feel like we could tick all the boxes at that time. We do not provide complete and safe passage. I just couldn’t in good conscience, ”Dillon said in a phone interview that night. “We make it sound like it’s safe, and it’s not sure if it’s incomplete.”
Dillon disputed the fire hydrant, which will have to be moved at great expense, that it will still not quite reach the city’s sidewalk network and that no winter maintenance is planned for the sidewalk. Dillon also felt the process was too far out of the purview of city council. The city manager and the district attorney will oversee the process from now on.
“We didn’t have all the pieces in place, so I thought it was premature for Council to make a decision when the agreements between the city and the homeowners association had not yet been finalized. It gives me a big pause because I feel like there is a chain of command in the way things would be done, ”Dillon added.
The deal relieves the city of all responsibility for the new concrete stretch and hands it over to Huntington Woods. Weiss said the sidewalk wouldn’t be used much in the winter anyway, making it a moot point. Other advisers – like Dell’Orco, Krause and Camero-Sulak all agreed the proposal was not ideal, but all said something to the effect that they need to move forward on a given moment.
“This is not a complete sidewalk, but it is an important first step to complete the connectivity of the city’s south central corridor. I would also add that the argument put forward that if we can’t get everything we want, then we shouldn’t be doing anything at all, is in my opinion, with great respect, madness ”,
The original developer of Huntington Woods was originally supposed to build the sidewalk, according to the mayor and Weiss. But that never happened.
The city will spend more than a quarter of a million dollars on this project. Mayor Marl said he got $ 136,000 from the original developer to help pay part of the cost.
Part of the reason this cost was so high was due to the increase in construction spending since the developer initially started the project, but part of it is also because of the mandated water drainage improvements. by the Washtenaw County Roads Commission.
Neither the Washington County Roads Commission nor the Township of Saline could be reached immediately for comment in late June. This article will be updated when they are available.
“I am delighted to be finally connected to the city on foot and by bicycle, like the other taxpayers in the city. As I look forward to families frequenting downtown businesses, the real victory is safety, ”said Jennifer Steben, president of the Saline Region School Board, who lives in the neighborhood, in a statement. emailed to Sun Times newspaper. “The blind curve and increasing the speed limit have been a real concern for years. I can’t wait for everyone to use the sidewalk, see friends safely, and continue to support the locals. “