Longview working to install more sidewalks citywide

Longview working to install more sidewalks sidewalks city-wide
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 1:14 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2023 at 11:47 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Driving around Longview you might have noticed new sidewalks going in. Well, that’s because Longview residents wanted more of them. And the city is working with developers who are required to install sidewalks properties earmarked for sidewalks.

There are some places in Longview that don’t have sidewalks, like a stretch of Cotton Street near Loop 281. Longview Director of Development Services Michael Shirley is working from two studies that show residents want more sidewalks.

“As a way to get more pedestrian infrastructure that we should institute requirements on new commercial and residential projects, that the developers need to participate with that and install sidewalks,” Shirley said.

So new buildings may require a sidewalk on the property. But Shirley said residents asked questions on social media.

“Why do we have these segments of sidewalks all over town. We’ve got these sidewalks to nowhere, is kind of what they term them as,” Shirley said.

So, the city did some research to see how other cities were addressing that.

“What we’ve come up with is a way to give them an option instead of having to build a sidewalk that doesn’t connect to another segment is, they can pay their fair share based on what the cost would be,” Shirley said.

And the city would leverage the money until there are connecting properties and the whole sidewalk can be built. TXDOT is also doing sidewalk work in Longview along their roadways.

“They’re installing it next to the curb where there’s going to be a shoulder. But our standards, there is a green space there between there to separate the pedestrian,” Shirley said.

Shirley said sidewalks are going in where they are needed.

“Providing connectivity; our bus routes, our walking paths and our major connectivity,” Shirley said.

And city officials believe it will cut down on foot traffic in the road.

Shirley also said when the city upgrades some roadways, they budget in sidewalks in areas that are conducive to foot traffic. He also adds that developers do not get a discount for paying rather than building.

KLTV’s Jamey Boyum talks with Longview Director of Development Services Michael Shirley about Longview sidewalks.