Burleith debates the ultimate question: to brick or not to brick?
The ultimate controversy causer!
There are a few issues that really get debate going on local listservs—political partisanship, newspaper-nabbing students, et cetra—but few topics are as controversial as the question of whether or not sidewalks should be paved with brick.
The issue recently raised its head when a Burleith listserv participant asked Burleith Citizens Association President Lenore Rubino if there were any plans to replace Burleith sidewalks with brick.
Rubino responded saying she didn’t know of any such plans, but asking if the community had any feelings about brick sidewalks. Boy, do they!
The pro-brick faction argued that bricks class up the neighborhood. As a resident named Nazy put it:
I would think that brick sidewalks raise property values as they give the impression of a more upscale community, hence Georgetown. Just something to think about.
The opposition struck back with concerns about safety and maintenance. Burleith listserver May writes:
Please. No,no, no brick sidewalks. They are not properly maintained by the city and are dangerous, especially when wet and icy. In addition most residents do not clear the sidewalks when there is ice and snow, so they are super dangerous. Anyone ever noticed that walkers in brick sidewalk areas are always looking down?
Quite a few anti-brickers backed up May, but the other faction wasn’t ready to let it go. Walter took to the forum to enumerate the many virtues of bricks:
One potential virtue of bricks is, if they are the ones that have holes (which are almost never used for sidewalks), they permit some water to seep into the ground rather than to run off into the storm sewers with the resulting overload of blue Plains with discharge of untreated sewage into the Potomac. Using such bricks in our landscaping is an ecological virtue.
The pro-brick propoganda rubbed other Burleith listservers the wrong way, with “MClark” openly questioning Walter’s motivations:
Do you own a brick factory? Or preparing to sell your house? Or seeking a property tax increase?
And the debate rages on!
Photo from Flickr user ViZZZual.com, used under a Creative Commons license.