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Letters to the Editor about streets and sidewalks

Posted: Mon, Jun 3, 2019 2:30 PM

(Streets and sidewalks are on the minds of our readers):

(From Carol Birkland of Walnut Street in Decorah): "After reading a number of city sidewalk construction/improvement plans online, all are based on identified priorities: population density, pedestrian safety and access to commercial and educational institutions, etc.  Other cities' projects were based on data.  Instead, here in Decorah, city government made a decision, drew circles on a map and paid an engineering firm tens of thousands of dollars to draft a detailed construction plan.  It is not surprising, then, that the overwhelming majority of the residents living along Walnut and Linden Streets have continued to ask, 'Why here?'  The only answer is: 'Because sidewalks are good.'  Before our driveways, curbs and lawns are torn up, tree branches removed and who knows about light poles, utility boxes and man hole covers, we need a better answer than that and one that is based on data rather than just a 'good idea.'"

(From Diane Ernst of Decorah): "What has happened to the condition of Decorah's streets?  Recently, I made a trip to Rochester going through many small towns along the route.  In these towns, I specifically noted street conditions.  Not one town had the damage or breakdown of our streets in Decorah. And not one town had the very temporary 'patching' that we experience.

I would guess that our taxes are as high if not higher than these neighboring towns.  Where is our tax money being spent that is more important than our transportation, safety or tourism in our town?"