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IN COMMON COUNCIL, January 3, 1895.
The special committee of the Common Council appointed to look after the sidewalks in the outlying wards, and to whom was referred the order requesting said committee to consider and report what action is necessary to enforce the ordinances so as to provide that the sidewalks in Pemberton Square be kept free from obstructions, respectfully submit the following
The committee made several visits to different sections of the city, and were impressed with the fact that the subject is one of considerable importance. In the outlying districts the demands for suitable sidewalks are so numerous, and the necessity for these sidewalks is so great, that your committee are of the opinion that this subject should be made one of special inquiry by the City Council of 1895. In the outlying sections your committee are of the opinon that plank walks should be more extensively put in use as not only being
cheaper than the edgestone, gravel walk, but owing to the nature of the soil can be kept much cleaner during all seasons of the year, and kept in repair at a much less expense than the ordinary gravel sidewalk.
The committee, in making this statement, recognize that some of the engineers in our Street Department may take exceptions to their views, but they believe that a carefully prepared statement of all the facts based on practical experience rather than on engineering theories will substantiate their position. Of course the committee are willing to admit that an edgestone, properly gravelled sidewalk that is on a level or nearly so can be kept in repair cheaper than a plank walk on the same level; but a grade more or less steep prevails in our outlying streets, and the damage caused by heavy storms on these sidewalks is much greater than it could possibly be on the plank walks.
However, without recommending distinctly the exact style of sidewalk, your committee do insist that the subject is of such importance as to warrant the early and careful attention of the City Council.
Another matter that was very prominent and almost universal was the system of stop-cocks introduced by the Water Board some few years ago on almost every sidewalk in these districts. These stop-cocks are so constructed as to form à decided defect in the sidewalks. In almost every instance, except where the sidewalks are of brick, the cover of the tube protrudes so that at night, except in close proximity to a light, they are certainly obstructions, and immediate attention should be given to so remedying their construction at the surface of the sidewalk as to eliminate all elements of danger to the pedestrian, and this could be done by the systematic construction of these covers from a practical standpoint. The committee would recommend, however, that suitable sidewalks be constructed in front of all city property in the outlying districts.
In regard to the obstruction of sidewalks in Pemberton square, your committee are of the opinion that such action as may be necessary should be taken by the Law Department to have the sidewalks in Pemberton square kept free from obstructions. During the construction of the new Court House, the system of using the sidewalks in Pemberton square for the storage of merchandise was tolerated, but now that the Court House is finished and Pemberton square has become a very important thoroughfare, your committee are of the opinion that some action should be taken to keep these sidewalks in a proper condition for public travel.
The committee therefore would recommend that so much of
REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON SIDEWALKS.
the report as relates to outlying sidewalks should be further considered by the City Council of 1895, and so much of the report as relates to the obstruction of sidewalks in Pemberton square be referred to the Law Department, with a request for its opinion as to what mode of procedure is necessary to keep said sidewalks free from obstructions and in proper condition for the use of pedestrians.
For the Committee,