Leader Blues

Monday, November 20, 2006

TOP STORY >>Cabot sets hearing on sidewalks

By JOAN MCCOY
Leader staff writer

A public hearing for a proposed plan for sidewalk construction in Cabot is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30 in the courtroom of the City Annex, 208 N. First St.

With input from the city’s public works department, planners with Metroplan, which distributes federal transportation money, drafted the proposal based on information they gathered from Cabot residents who attended a workshop May 15.

“We have developed a draft plan based on what they told us and on the 30th we’re going back to them and ask if we got it right,” said Susan Dollar, a transportation planner with Metroplan.

Dollar said the draft plan does not include the walkway over U.S. Highway 67-167 that some residents said they wanted because such a project would be too costly.

“I guess anything could be engineered, but we could build a lot of sidewalks on both sides of 67/167 for what it would cost us to connect both sides of the city,” she said.

Neither does it emphasize the bike trail that some wanted. Dollar said the city might want to look at that project in about five years.

But she said, “There’s a lot of emphasis on connecting the sidewalks that Cabot already has.”

Dollar says the proposal groups projects according to need, and suggests that the most needed parts be completed first.
Developing the plan is the first step in the process, but Dollar said the city would have to apply for construction grants to do the work. The 80 / 20 federal grants are not automatic.

Dollar said city residents were consulted about the plan because they are the experts. They are the ones who try to get across parts of the city on foot so they know the changes that are needed.