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Elizabeth Nelson's City Council Blog

I write a City Council newsletter with my summary of agenda items coming before City Council. Sign up to receive it first via email, or read it here later on this blog.

Runnymede Path Update (May 5 2022)

Agenda item DC-4 on the 5/5/22 agenda (Resolution to Negotiate an Easement for Runnymede-Pauline Path) will not be discussed tonight, because it will not have the benefit of consideration among the whole of our elected body. There are going to be three absences tonight, including Mayor Taylor, CM Radina, and CM Briggs. The pedestrian connector referenced in DC-4 serves families in apartments across Pauline in Ward 5 who are trying to access Dicken school, so at a minimum both Council Members from Ward 5 should weigh in before we set a precedent that will discourage problem-solving for many more pedestrian connectors in the City.


The proposal in DC-4 is a necessary step to leverage state/federal grant money for the improvement of infrastructure that meets a community need. This issue has been aggressively distorted on social media ahead of what should have been a serious fact-based policy discussion in a public meeting. I have been most alarmed to see efforts to pit neighbor against neighbor within Ward 4 and beyond. More time will hopefully remove that distraction as an obstacle to more serious policy debate re: the relative community value of leveraging grant money.


I will continue to advocate on behalf of improvements in Ward 4 that are consistent with City-wide policy goals. I believe that our local government exists to leverage public resources toward important community benefits. I will continue to look for creative solutions that make the best use of our public resources for improved infrastructure in Ward 4 and the City as a whole.


Public policies have changed quite a lot in the fifty years since the property in DC-4 was built and during the decades that the path (and other public sidewalks) have deteriorated. Ironically, if this path were on the edge of a single-family home property – instead of its current location on the edge of a multi-family property – it would be a sidewalk (or a potential sidewalk) already, which recent City policy/voter millages currently define as a community resource to be publicly funded.

 

For more about this resolution, see my previous post:

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/runnymede-path-proposal-for-city-easement