Charles Sacre of Marlboro Street Belmont writes:
Dear Senator Brownsberger,
Our family applauds your efforts to keep us informed and thank you.
We live on Marlboro Street in Belmont. Both sidewalks have reached such a degree of deterioration that need the Town’s attention.
What do you suggest be done by the Marlboro Str community to have the Town make our sidewalks safe and accessible to ADA standards, and residents’ standards.
Charles Sacre, P.E.
9 Marlboro Str
The sidewalk budget is always a sore subject — there are so many places in town that are behind standards. When I was Selectmen, I often visited damaged locations that were clearly in need of repair. I would identify them to the public works director and he would place them on his prioritized list. I would then have the humiliation of visiting the same location a couple of years later to find that the work just had not risen to the top of the list. Not an easy thing to explain to a constituent.
My only advice would be to write a short petition to the Selectmen, walk it around to your neighbors and send it to the board. That will firmly place the issue in everyone’s mind. At that point, it still may not get done for some time, because the Selectmen may appropriately defer to the Public Works director’s sense of how the needs stack up across the town.
It’s all about the availability of repair funds at the end of the day. The sidewalk budget has often been starved in tight years and the town is way behind. From the state level, my role is to try to send more highway money, which can be used for sidewalks in conjunction with road paving. This is one of our annual priorities.