If you walk through the streets of Shepherdstown on any given day, it will quickly become apparent to you that many of the sidewalks and pedestrian pathways in the town are in desperate need of repairs and improvements.
Sidewalks that are cracking, decrepit or otherwise non-existent are not only a hazard to the pedestrians that walk on them but they are also an eye sore to the community.
I frequently find myself tripping or stumbling on uneven and cracked sidewalks when I walk through town. When it rains for an extended period of time, many sidewalks and pathways become overwhelmed with water, and they subsequently flood.
Many of the pathways throughout the town are very old and date back many years. As a result, they are out of date and in very bad shape. Nonetheless, ignoring the repairs that need to take place on these sidewalks may lead one to surmise that the town is unwilling or unable to improve infrastructure.
“I always found the sidewalks in Shepherdstown to be in terrible condition. Honestly, sidewalks in Shepherdstown have caused me to trip and fall on a couple occasions,” Travis Smith, a recent graduate of Shepherd University, said.
Recently, there have been repairs to several stretches of sidewalks that were in poor condition in Shepherdstown. This is a welcomed sight, and I would argue that it should be the first of many sidewalk repair projects in our town.
Portions of sidewalks that are adjacent to W. High Street and W. Washington Street were only just repaired by the town. In addition, a new sidewalk was recently constructed along University Drive, near the Butcher Center and Frank Art Center. This is a part of the Shepherd University campus that previously did not have a sidewalk. As a result, pedestrians in that area walking no longer have to walk in the road or through the mud.
I would argue it is about time to find a way to repair the many old and decrepit sidewalks and other pedestrian pathways in the town. For example, you can find sidewalks adjacent to parts of E. High Street, E. German Street, W. Washington Street, S. King Street and Back Alley that are in poor condition, to say the least, and are in desperate need of repairs.
Many of the sidewalks in town are legitimate safety threats. If any considerable rain or snowstorm hits, they almost instantly become flooded and impassable. I would also add that the mere sight of sidewalks in poor condition may deter visitors and potential residents, thus leading to a negative impact on the Shepherdstown economy. I realize times are hard economically speaking, but funding a comprehensive project to make these improvements cannot be unreasonable. The investment would surely pay off in the future. Not to mention, it would allow students and residents alike to walk comfortably down the sidewalks of Shepherdstown, W.Va.