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Sidewalks will not be included on Westview and Lyn Way

Residents living along Westview Drive and Lyn Way got the news they wanted to hear at Monday's city council meeting.

When their roads are rebuilt this summer, new sidewalks will not be part of the construction.

More than 30 residents living along those streets came to the council meeting, and many spoke up during a public hearing on the matter. Of the speakers, all but one was against adding sidewalks.

In the end, the council agreed with homeowners in that the right time to have sidewalks installed is when developments are built, not when developments are 40 years old.

In the city's comprehensive plan, adding sidewalks to these areas was listed as a priority, and with the roads scheduled for reconstruction this summer, it seemed like the right time for the city's engineering department to bring up the sidewalks.

Residents thought otherwise.

"The appropriate time to discuss sidewalks is when a subdivision is built, not when it is 40 years old," said Duane Fike, who lives just off Westview Drive.

"I'm really opposed to the sidewalk," said Westview Drive resident Kathleen Lee. "It just doesn't make any sense now."

"I use the sidewalks -- I walk through Hastings all the time," said Westview Drive resident Jeanne Pauletti. "I don't want this. It doesn't make any sense."

Council members ended up agreeing with the residents.

"I am generally in favor of sidewalks, but trying to shoehorn them in, it simply does not work well," council member Danna Elling Schultz said.

City Council Member Joe Balsanek said the sidewalks would cut against the grain of what is already in place in the neighborhoods.

Mayor Paul Hicks said the neighborhoods are established and doing just fine without the sidewalks.

By eliminating the sidewalks from the project, the city could also save approximately $210,000 from the total project cost.

The sidewalks would have been added to Westview Drive's west side between 12th and 15th streets. On Lyn Way, the sidewalk would have been added to the east side south of Bahls Drive. The sidewalks would have meant that parking would have been allowed on just one side of Lyn Way.

There will be one section of Westview Drive that will still receive a sidewalk. It will be the section north of Highway 55 between North Frontage Road and Pleasant Drive.