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The City of Lawrence plans to make sidewalks more safe and accessible

The City of Lawrence plans to make sidewalks more safe and accessible
BY: ANNA DENISON
The City of Lawrence is implementing a system to repair hazardous sidewalks throughout the
city.
Mayor Courtney Shipley has heavily campaigned for better sidewalks. City commissioners have
been cycling through the plan in the hope to make sidewalks more safe and accessible to
residents.
City Commissioner, Amber Sellers said she wants the people of Lawrence to feel safe and secure
in their neighborhoods.
“We want to have self-safe and welcoming neighborhoods, and their sidewalks played a part in
that, that we want to make sure that we’re doing our due diligence to make that happen. Or at
least get proper, you know, build up the strategy to make that happen,” Sellers said.
The plan also hopes to fix sidewalks to implement ADA ramps in popular neighborhoods.
Sellers said sidewalks should be accessible to all residents no matter their ability or mode of
transportation.
“I think what we’ve heard from several in the community is that they believe that the sidewalks
are a public use should be a public use, that they should be accessible to all in the community,”
said Sellers.
This program’s main purpose is to identify sidewalks in poor condition. Once identified, the city
can provide technical and potentially financial assistance to residents.
Sellers said they hope to be able to take the stress of fixing sidewalks off of property owners.
“It’s a way to work around what state statute says we can and cannot do. To be able to take some
of that burden off of property owners and to make it equitable as it relates to someone’s ability to
repair and replace their sidewalks,” Sellers said.
Sidewalk inspections ended in March, residents have the opportunity to self-repair by a deadline
in June and if not, their sidewalks will be prepared and they will be billed in the fall.

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