As Riverside spends money on a permanent landscape plan designed in Olmsted’s vision for the overgrown Swan Pond (“Firm picked for Swan Pond restoration plan,” News, Aug. 17), let me direct your attention to another part of our village that would surely blind the man: our sidewalks. They’re cracked, patched, mismatched and uneven. A+ for diversity, but F for function and appeal. 

Sidewalk squares on Burlington are no exception. I was hopeful the problem would resolve with the central business district improvement project hurtling downtown Riverside into the 21st century. 

The first residential block of Burlington, just east of the central business district, was treated to sidewalk grinding, but the remainder was ignored. A call to the village was placed, and when asked if the sidewalk grinding was extending beyond the first block of Burlington, a big no was offered. 

To be fair, the kind village employee offered to send someone out to take a look. Days later, a man from public works filled cracks with black asphalt, even sculpting mounds of the black goo where sidewalk squares pitched uneven. An unattractive fix for one of the more trafficked sidewalks in our village. The icy forthcoming winter will certainly displace every bit of asphalt. 

While walking the dog, it’s hard not to notice the streets that receive the preferential sidewalk grinding. Some do, some don’t. So I raise this question: Who makes these decisions? Who’s the czar in charge of sidewalk repair and replacement? 

I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Olmsted — he roamed this area long before my time — but I guarantee he, the father of landscape architecture, would look down at our crazy quilt sidewalks and scoff. 

Jacob Palka

Riverside