DENVER — Advocates for Denver Initiative 307, which would publicly fund sidewalk construction and upkeep, reached out to Denver homeowners Sunday trying to garner support for the November ballot measure.
Dominic Hughes spent much of his weekend pounding the pavement, in an effort to improve the pavement.
“I like talking to people,” Hughes said. “It’s an important issue.”
Hughes and other advocates fanned out in the Highlands neighborhood this weekend.
“Right now, 40% of sidewalks in Denver are either missing or not wide enough for someone using a wheelchair,” said Molly McKinley with Denver Deserves Sidewalks.
At the moment, the upkeep and maintenance of sidewalks is each homeowner's responsibility in the City and County of Denver.
Denver Deserves Sidewalks would change that to the city's responsibility.
“Many Eastern cities have systems like this,” McKinley said. “Denver would be one of the larger cities in the West to take on this responsibility."
Homeowner Allison Sambish is just hearing of this initiative, but her initial reaction is more supportive than not.
“I had not heard about it until I got the flyers,” Sambish said. “My initial thoughts are, it makes a lot of sense – especially around here. There are some really uneven and unsafe sidewalks."
The initiative is not without its critics, primarily because each property owner would be hit with an annual assessment for a general sidewalk improvements fund depending on the size of your property.
The average homeowner would pay about $107 a year or $9 a month, with some low-income earners getting a discount.
“It’s a fee that's assessed annually like your stormwater already is,” McKinley said. “And it's assessed based on the size of your property."
“It’s definitely something I need to look into and see how much of an impact it will be to me as a homeowner, financially," Sambish said. “I think my $107 would be worth it."
Advocates targeted the Highlands Square Farmers Market on Sunday, a neighborhood that certainly has its share of sidewalk issues.
"We're excited about the momentum and what we're hearing from community members,” McKinley said.