PEPPER PIKE, Ohio (WJW) – Where are the sidewalks? That’s the question many residents in Pepper Pike have been asking for years.

Next week, residents will take a vote to decide if the city needs to build a safe path for people to walk, jog, run, bike and walk their pets.

Issue 65 would allow the city to construct and maintain recreational trails, commonly known as sidewalks, along three major streets spanning the city.

“We need a safe and available way for children or adults to get back and forth through the city, connect up to our commercial areas, connect up to the much more quiet side streets where we don’t need walkways,” Pepper Pike Mayor Richard Bain supports the issue and calls it a step forward.

The trails would be created along Shaker Boulevard, Lander Road and South Woodland Road. City Council has already approved a walkability project for a 10-foot-wide trail in the center strip of Gates Mills Boulevard.

But not everyone is ready to walk to the beat of this drum. Patricia Golish has lived in Pepper Pike for 48 years and is one of many residents with a vote no sign in the yard of her residence.

“Don’t believe that they should put sidewalks and the busiest streets in Pepper Pike because we have children here and they will be on the street and they will get hit by a car,” Golish said. “That’s my concern, for the kids.”

She said she’s not opposed to change, like many others who want to keep Pepper Pike the same as it is now, but simply thinks more planning needs to be done before a major project like this can proceed.

The cost for the walkability plan is $3.74 million, which would be funded through the city’s cash reserve. No additional funding will need to be raised or approved through a levy.

Mayor Bain hopes the nearly 7,000 residents of Pepper Pike exercise their civic duty on November 7 to make sure their voices are heard.

“I certainly want everyone to get out and vote on this issue and all the other very important issues that are on the ballot this year,” he said.

If approved, the Gates Mills multipurpose trail and one of the major road trails are projected to be completed in 2024.

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