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The state is repaving Aurora. That's a chance to build sidewalks. But no

This summer the state highway department plans to show Aurora Avenue North some love – in the form of fresh paving.

The city says it has added pedestrian improvements around Aurora and 92nd Street North as well as other improvements in recent years.

But long stretches of Aurora will still lack sidewalks.

The City of Seattle said that 2.5 percent of all collisions between cars and pedestrians in Seattle happen on Aurora north of North 59th Street.

Lee Bruch, a retired architect who works with community groups along Aurora, said he is disappointed that the city is not doing more. He took a KUOW reporter to several locations along Aurora, pointing out incomplete sidewalks, sidewalks with telephone poles obstructing sidewalks, and long stretches without crosswalks.

He said the neglect on Aurora encourages crime and discourages civic life. He prepared a report that says if the city reclaimed Aurora by investing in complete sidewalks and crosswalks, Aurora could be a good place to live.

Many established residential neighborhoods abut Aurora, Bruch said, but neighbors are cut off from one other by the hostile streetscape.

Now new housing is being built on Aurora. Bruch said he worries that once WSDOT lays down fresh pavement and makes existing curbs wheelchair-compliant, that will be the end of the subject for many years.

A spokesman for WSDOT said after the repaving is complete it could be 10 years before repaving is considered again.

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