New curb system doesn’t fit well, city needs to rethink

The last thing I thought I would be writing about is sidewalks. But that’s exactly what I want to address.

For those of you who either live in Erie or have at least explored the downtown area, you might already know what I’m talking about.

But for those of you who don’t know, I’ll explain.

Over the summer, the City of Erie has installed a new corner curb system that will supposedly help the parking situation in downtown Erie.

The city is extending the corners of the sidewalks to allow cars to park on the sides of streets, namely State Street.

Having done most of the corners on State Street, construction is still ongoing with parts of 12th Street.

I have a few problems with this. I understand that the city wants to “beautify” downtown by re-doing its sidewalks, building new facilities such as the Bayfront Convention Center and restructuring its layout, but it is doing that at the cost of  taxpayers’ money.

Why not put that money to better use, such as giving grants to the school district?

Or it can even be something so simple as to fix the countless potholes that plague the roads of Erie.

Either way, I don’t understand what this local government is thinking. Or should I say has been thinking, as it hasn’t done anything to move the city forward in the last 20 years.

Erie is still the same city it was then, with economic opportunities still lacking and therefore hasn’t seen growth like some of the major blossoming cities like Allentown and Scranton have seen.

Another problem I see with this is simpler, but that doesn’t mean it’s just as important.

The more the city builds these corner curbs, the more traffic you’re going to see.

Many of the sidewalks are closing off lanes, which will obviously increase traffic downtown.

Since the curbs extend to the innermost lane of the sidewalk, some cars get cut off when they hit an intersection because the curb is literally in their way.

They have to wait to turn into the other lane after cars pass by or let them go. It’s really given drivers like me a cluster headache.

I get the parking situation in downtown. It’s not good. Maybe the curb system has fixed this. I don’t know.

But another problem I foresee is that snowplows will be unable to remove snow from the sides of the streets now that the curb system has been implemented.

All that precious concrete that they just recently put in will be victim to the salt from the snowplows as well.

JACOB TARR

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