Georgetown sidewalks part of $105 million bond

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GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — When you walk to the park, the store, or just around the block it is important to be out of the street and away from cars. That’s why Georgetown is taking a close look at their sidewalks and if they’ll spend $10 million to improve them.

More than 140 miles of sidewalk can be found around the city, but none line the busy street in front Marshall Gonzalez’s home.

“It’s kind of narrow for them to get by because if you park cars on both sides of he street, and you have two cars going in the middle, there’s no way for the people to walk down and up that street without getting hit,” said Gonzalez.

That’s at its busiest, typically during events at the downtown square a few blocks away. On a regular day, both kids and adults walk along as best they can.

“They just walk along the curbs and hopefully make it to where they’re going,” said Gonzalez.

Adding sidewalks and repairing old ones is the goal of the city’s new sidewalk master plan. The study analyzed and prioritized need for sidewalks and took a close look at existing conditions. More than two thirds of existing sidewalk was found in good or excellent condition. Seven percent, or about 10 miles, was found to be in failing condition.

Georgetown Transportation Analyst Nathaniel Waggoner said making sidewalks a priority fits into their big picture as the city grows. This sidewalk master plan is an update of the one from 2001 and this time, open houses and public input helped narrow down areas with highest priority for sidewalks.

“I think it supports a lot of our other initiatives, be it economic development or be them quality of life or access to schools or public services.”

As he walks along, Gonzalez knows his street isn’t the only in need. “There’s a lot of places that could use them.”

If funding passes, the first phase wouldn’t wrap up until 2025. A public hearing and first reading of a city ordinance adopting the sidewalk master plan took place Tuesday night at the Georgetown City Council meeting. The sidewalk plan would be part of the $105 million bond package expected to be in front of voters this May.

The sidewalk master plan can be found at the bottom of the agenda item summary here.

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