With the launch of this column, Cranberry is officially stepping into the blogosphere.
Along with some of my colleagues in the Township, we will be offering comments about issues concerning Cranberry that people keep telling us are on their minds. Some of it will be factual, some of it will be background information, and some will be our own personal points of view. But we hope all of it will be interesting, and ultimately useful, to you.
Let me start with an issue that’s come up ever since I started here in 1992 – and probably even earlier: sidewalks. We’ve got bits and pieces of sidewalk all over the town, but they don’t weave together into a network at this point. So are sidewalks in Cranberry a stupid waste of money, as some people have said? I don’t think so.
In every study we’ve done since I arrived here, making Cranberry a more pedestrian-friendly place has been right up there among our residents’ top concerns. Every trip you would normally make by foot – if there were sidewalks to accommodate you – is a trip that’s now made by car. That contributes to congestion, pollution, and so on.
So we’ve got an ordinance that requires anyone doing development along a public road to build that section of sidewalk. Eventually, every property will get developed or redeveloped. So, in time, those sidewalk segments will knit together. But it’s going to take a while.
The alternative is to use taxpayer money to build sidewalks. But that can get really expensive, and nobody has much of an appetite for spending that kind of money. So for now, we’re watching the system slowly emerge, driven by development, and keeping an eye out for innovative ways of picking up the pace.