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Tallahassee's CRA unanimously approves funding for new sidewalk project downtown

Plans were approved to extend it an extra block than originally planned
Posted at 5:46 PM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-28 17:47:33-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The city of Tallahassee's Community Redevelopment Agency voted unanimously to fund a new sidewalk improvement project on Thursday.

A unanimous vote at Thursday's Community Redevelopment Agency meeting means $250,000 has been approved.

The money will go to widening the sidewalk to about 13 feet from Jefferson to Park along Monroe Street while adding benches, lights and trees to downtown.

"I think we should expand it from Jefferson Street to Call [Street]," Mayor John Dailey said in the meeting.

Originally, the sidewalk improvement was from Jefferson Street to Park Avenue along Monroe Street.

At the CRA meeting Thursday, city officials agreed to extend it an extra block down to Call Street was the right move.

They have to wait to vote on how much an extension would cost — but voted unanimously on the first plan.

"By not only repairing the sidewalks for safety issues but also widening the sidewalk," Mayor Dailey said. "It's just more inviting for people to come down."

CEO of the Downtown Improvement Authority Elizabeth Emmanuel said this road has some of the highest levels of traffic in the city.

"I can tell you that that sidewalk is in major need of repairs," Emmanuel said.

According to Tallahassee Police Department, there were six pedestrian crashes downtown this year.

Emmanuel said in Thursday's meeting, safety is one component, but it adds a layer of walkability that will drive more businesses to the area.

"We're also seeing more private investment along with this fair and in many other parts of our community so what we're doing is setting the stage for success in the future," Emmanuel said.

Owner of Goodies William Johnson added that investing in safety and new infrastructure also helps businesses already downtown.

"How downtown looks helps us," Johnson said.

His store has been a staple for 26 years, which he said comes from new improvement projects over the years.

"It really does benefit all of our community," Emmanuel said.

The CRA board is waiting to hear how much an extension to the project would cost.

Once they have a number they'll be voting at their next meeting.