A decade ago, streets and sidewalks in Stillwater were in poor condition. There were gravel streets within the city’s core and many of its sidewalks, due to cracks, tree roots and other hazards, provided less safety than walking in the street. And that was in the areas that had sidewalks; many areas did not.

Thanks largely to the interest and leadership of Mayors Larry Brown, Bud Lacy and Roger McMillian — and many employees of the city — that is no longer the case.

Those former gravel streets have been paved; many other roadways have been improved, even reconstructed; and the city’s sidewalks, while not yet perfect, have made, ahem, “great strides.”

As evidence, we offer the recently completed — and beautiful — project along East Sixth Avenue in front of Fairlawn Cemetery. For about $340,000, the project completed 3,000 linear feet of six-foot wide sidewalk that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act from Washington to Duncan streets and Perkins Road to Stallard Street. As part of the project, a retaining wall that is not only functional, but also a pleasure to look at, was completed in front of Fairlawn.

Yes, there are areas of the city still lacking quality walkways, and city leaders continue to struggle with requests for sidewalk waivers from various construction projects.

But it cannot be ignored the city is in a far greater position than it was a relatively short time ago. And pedestrians and drivers are far happier.

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