Richmond Heights, a suburb in the east central section of St. Louis County, Missouri knows how important it is. In fact, they have been working to get their township on the road to healthier living for many years now and finally broke ground this past week on their streetscaping initiative : The Dale Avenue Great Streets Project. A project that is not just recognizing alternative modes of transportation but encouraging them by it's very being. There are bike lanes, bulb outs, curb cuts and crosswalks that are there for safety as much as they are to provide access.
Positioned as a main traffic artery and alternative route between city and county, Dale Avenue and all its improvements provide the mixed use corridor that solidifies the viability of this project as an added asset of the community. This is a prime example of a "Build it and they will use it because there are plenty of places to go" thought process. This forward thinking community started assembling this staged production back in 2007 using a grass roots approach beginning with public open houses, land studies, and neighborhood workshops, giving citizens and stakeholders that would ultimately benefit from this type of improvement, a chance to contribute directly and be involved at the ground level. End users were asked, they gave, and now their ideas are being implemented on previously under-utilized easement. What more can taxpayers ask for? Community involvement pays off.
--is that minor setbacks lead to major improvements so hopefully those that are being inconvenienced will realize the long term benefits community wide improvements like this have on private property values. It is a win-win. This is most definitely not a waste of taxpayer money at all. It is wise appropriation of funds that are available from the government for this sort of community wide improvement activity. It would be waste of resources not to take advantage of it, especially when there is a demonstrated need.
Curb appeal sells and the value-view stretches far beyond where easement and sidewalk take over. If you are a property owner trying to sell your home during the seemingly unsightly production stage of this project, look for the beauty in what the finished product means for the marketability of your property. It is a selling point! You most definitely are not going to be lying when you say you live on a "great street"...just make sure it is in the marketing remarks because that is music to a buyer's ears.
I captured an odd assortment of pics from today and am calling this haphazard gallery of photos: "Looking Beyond The Obvious". There is much beauty to behold about these photos because this is a perfect demonstration of progress as promised.
As a frequent traveler along Dale Avenue I look forward to watching this progressive action as it happens. And I will definitely keep you posted!