Saturday, March 9, 2024

Update on Sidewalk Improvement Efforts

A year ago in February, the City enacted Local Law No. 2 of 2023 to address the problem of substandard sidewalks in Hudson. The law established a five-member Public Works Board tasked with the following responsibilities:
  • Recommending an annual budget and schedule of sidewalk construction or repair.
  • Undertaking a search for a Project Manager to administer sidewalk improvement activity. 
  • Reviewing and making determinations on appeals related to past work reductions on fees to property owners.
  • Holding regular public meetings to review the status of sidewalk improvement activity and reporting such activity to the Common Council.

According to the law, the Public Works Board is made up of the Commissioner of Public Works (now Jason Foster), the ADA Coordinator (now Michael Hofmann), one member of the Common Council, and two community members, one appointed by the Common Council and one appointed by the mayor. In May 2023, the City made an appeal for volunteers to fill the two slots designated for community members.

Last month, a year after Local Law No. 2 of 2023 was enacted, the Common Council approved the appointment of David Marston to the Public Works Board. Marston served two terms on the Common Council as a First Ward alderman, from 2012 to 2015. Neither the councilmember nor the community member appointed by the mayor has been made known. An email sent to mayor's aide Michael Hofmann on Monday, March 4, inquiring about the makeup of the Public Works Board has so far not been answered.


  1. Given the number of unsafe sections of sidewalks and other public walking areas on city property that have been ignored for so long, it's difficult to imagine that Kamal Johnson's administration has the will or ability to get this done. Tripping hazards abound in front of city property, the sidewalk in front of city hall has been "improved" to an absurd mere 5 feet in width, our pocket parks are a disgraceful mess, all parking lot surfaces should have been repaved five years ago, and one of the worst sidewalk tripping hazards in the entire city has been on fine display for at least ten years in front of the Union Street parking lot.
    What a charade, as if they are playing a joke on us! The devil is in the details.

  2. What a mess, as many of us predicted. The sidewalks are even worse since the law was passed since property owners have no incentive to fix them. How did anyone think this complicated regime would be better than simply enforcing the old law, like most functional municipalities do? When does the DOJ circle back because of this non-solution?

  3. With all the carping about Hudson's unique sidewalks ... I'd like to know if anyone has ever been injured enough to sue any owner ... does that information exist?

    1. Good question. This also raises the question if the city now shoulders liability since they've basically taken responsibility of the sidewalks.

  4. A good high stakes law suit might change minds ...