Use of Bellaire, Texas Funds for Improvements sign now


We the undersigned citizens of Bellaire, Texas present this petition to the mayor and city council of Bellaire to express our concern regarding current spending policies for improvements. Because revenue available for improvements is limited, expenditures must be made on a prioritized basis. There is no question that in view of our climate, there is need for the best drainage system possible. The mayor and council have been attentive to this problem. However, we question the priorities regarding the installation, and maintenance of sidewalks. It is our belief that current city policy regarding sidewalks funded by the recent bond issue is not in the best interest of the citizens of Bellaire.

The default policy is based on what appears to be subjective opinions rather than objective data determining the reality on the ground.

First priority given to maintaining the safety of existing sidewalks.

Streets without a sidewalk should take precedence over those having adequate sidewalk on one side.

Correcting the problem of intermittent short stretches of sidewalk should also be a priority. This can be done either by completing the paving on a block-by-block basis or removing the sporadic paving where it is not needed. The continuity will enhance neighborhood safety and appearance.

Creating sidewalks where there is no demonstrable need should be avoided. They have a negative environmental impact on the community as a whole, because they cover ground that would otherwise absorb water. Additional runoff creates a greater burden on the Harris County drainage system. Too much paving is considered to be a contributing factor to our current environmental crisis. Recognizing this, Bellaire has regulated the amount of acceptable lot coverage for all new home construction. City Council should use the same restraint in its use of paving.

Additional sidewalks create additional cost for future maintenance as they inevitably deteriorate with age creating an ongoing cost.

While Bellaires Urban Forester is of the opinion that proposed construction will not damage any trees, when possible it is best to err on the side of caution.

Bellaire funds dedicated to sidewalks would be best spent protecting the public safety by repairing sidewalks in need of maintenance. When money is to be spent on new sidewalks, it should be spent where there are no sidewalks rather than areas where sidewalks already exist on one side of the street. This approach enhances the safety, character and beauty of Bellaire and is more cost effective than adding additional sidewalks where adequate access is already available. An example this is the plan for new sidewalk on the north side of the 4500 block of Evergreen. When the planned improvements to Evergreen are completed, the south side sidewalk will provide adequate access for pedestrians.

We ask:
1. Bond funds be used prudently for needed repairs to existing sidewalks.
2. Areas where no sidewalks presently exist on either side of the street should have first priority.
3. That Bellaire refrain from placing an additional sidewalk on the north side of the 4500 block of Evergreen as well as other streets that are already served with adequate access.

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Candice FosterBy:
AnimalsIn:
Petition target:
Bellaire, TX mayor and city council

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