Adopt A Sidewalk?

Adopt a Sidewalk(Summer Edition)

Clean Malden Initiative

Adopt a Sidewalk(Summer Edition).  Evolution of an idea.  The mayor highlighted Walkability.  I built on that and offered sidewalk grass/weed trimming help for seniors and disabled.  Malden residents extended the idea further to the concept of "Adopt a Sidewalk".  The next step is to propose a plan framework, that maybe the mayor's office could build upon.
Councilors Spadafora & Murphy mentioned something at last week's parking sticker permitting meeting at the Forestdale school, that got me thinking again.  Every year, mandatory stickers for parking are creeping across the city street by street.  The thought of starting a street beautification project that starts small and gradually expands street by street across the city, ought to be workable as well.

Step one, gather some cleanup costs on a busy street through town that could really use walkability help.  I'm currently waiting for some landscape estimates for Maplewood street from the corner of Eastern Ave to Salem street and on Lebanon street from corner of Salem street to Swain's Pond Ave.

Step two, try to find mechanism to set up voluntary fund with donations from businesses and residents to maintain cleanup efforts annually.  Solicit input from Malden Chamber of Commerce.  Offer to promote list of donors on either Chamber web site and/or Malden City Hall web site.  Businesses or high private donors could get more prominent display on list of donors.  Keep entire process transparent.

Step three, assuming idea is adopted, gradually expand initiative street by street, ward by ward till all city sidewalk curbs are regularly maintained.

Clarification:  This idea is not intended to reduce crime or similar loftiness.  But, if it is known and seen that serious efforts to make the existing sidewalks a little more walkable and a little more presentable, more businesses and homeowners could be swayed to highly consider Malden as a place to settle.  The overall economic payback over the long term cannot be estimated but cannot be denied.

Lastly, as this progresses, residents, with better large scale organizational skills than myself, will be needed to make a project like this workable.  Constructive ideas, critiques, suggestions or alternatives are highly appreciated.  Something like this can work, if we want it to.  No flames please.

I can be contacted directly.  Joe Gray at gutclencher@hotmail.com.

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Jennifer September 26, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Well I like the idea of adopting a sidewalk but I was thinking more along the lines of connecting volunteers with people in need of assistance. I know the tweens and teens at my church would be willing to give up a weekend afternoon each month to help someone (or more than one if time permits) trim their bushes, rake their yards and sweep their sidewalks. Or go around and pick up trash on the sidewalks and in city parks.
Joe Gray September 27, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Jennifer: This is why I'm putting this out there, so that we can talk and share ideas. Setting up volunteer group sounds like a great idea. I'm not sure how to go about organizing such efforts, but am willing to go along with whatever idea takes hold. If you have a framework plan for building this volunteer cleanup effort, I'll support you any way that I can.


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