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Mandatory sidewalks have not always been the case
The sidewalk that runs along Green Street stops just past Holly Drive rather than continuing along Thompson Bridge Road. - photo by Tom Reed

If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

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Why isn’t there a sidewalk on either side of Thompson Bridge Road north of the Civic Center intersection, toward the city limits or to the bridge?

Gainesville traffic engineer Dee Taylor said the city is interested in more sidewalks, and especially looks for those projects as new businesses move onto Thompson Bridge.

“That section is included in our master plan for future development and then as businesses come along that’s usually one of the recommendations is to add a sidewalk to increase pedestrian access.”

Mayor Danny Dunagan said the city now requires that when a developer builds on a major thoroughfare like Thompson Bridge, it must put in a sidewalk.

That didn’t used to be the case. But some newer business areas do have sidewalks; for example, in front of the Wells Fargo and Coleman & Chambers & Rogers law firm on Thompson Bridge, he said.

“What doesn’t get filled in, maybe the city of Gainesville will fill in,” Dunagan said.

Taylor said the state Department of Transportation also is in favor of increasing pedestrian safety, something often done through the use of sidewalks. Taylor, however, was not aware of any projects in the near future.

“Our desire is that we’d love to have sidewalks all over basically major corridors. It just takes money,” Dunagan said.

Currently the sidewalk on the southwest side of the street ends at Holly Drive and on the northeast side it continues up Riverside Drive.

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