Grass Valley walk-ability |

Grass Valley walk-ability

On Feb. 13 the City of Grass Valley considered measures to address the affordable housing shortage. One item the city approved was to allow for reduced street widths in order to reduce construction costs and help some projects move forward. This also included the elimination of sidewalks in some cases.

Our concern was that this kind of accommodation can result in a giveaway for developers at the expense of the community.

However, if done correctly, there are some benefits to reducing street widths, as evidenced by many model communities. In fact, this trend in development has the effect of calming traffic and making neighborhoods more people-friendly. And it can help move us away from an automobile-centric design and back to a walkable, healthier, more interactive community.

The key is to assure that the walk-ability is actually enhanced by the street reductions rather than compromised. Fortunately, the city has done just that. City staff and council should be commended for approving last minute changes to the code which clearly state the goal of walk-ability and bike-ability and create reasonable safeguards to make sure those goals are achieved.

Ralph Silberstein

Community Environmental Advocates

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