Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sidewalk Mystery Solved

Along the east side of Crescent Avenue just north of East Seventh Street, there is a missing patch of sidewalk that is by turns dusty, muddy or icy.

It’s been that way for years, even though it’s just across from City Hall. The mystery of its neglect became clear at a recent Planning Board meeting.

Schoor De Palma representative Jeff Marsden described a plan to repair Watchung Avenue from Front Street south to Sixth Street, among other road projects. But after resident Sandy Gurshman asked what would happen to the “big hole” on the other side of Sixth Street, it came out that recent repairs to Crescent Avenue did not include that one block north of East Seventh Street. Watchung Avenue stopped short of it.

Board chairman Ken Robertson, who has to pick his way over the dirt, mud or ice on his daily walk to the train station, and the other board members agreed that the block should not be left in limbo. They asked Marsden to include it in the proposed project.

Because the orphan block is in the Civic Historic District that includes the War Memorial and City Hall, the plans will have to be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission. But the time is coming when pedestrians won’t have to detour into the street to avoid the unsightly and dangerous gap in the sidewalk.

--Bernice Paglia


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