Community should consider many benefits of sidewalks.

In most places, sidewalks are viewed as improvements.

No one, after all, wants children walking in the street to and from school and other activities. And anyone interested in taking a healthy stroll, or walking their dog would rather not contend with vehicle traffic.

As part of a plan to encourage more local residents of all ages to walk, the Garden City Commission has embraced strategies to make Garden City more walk-friendly by installing sidewalks and other walkways.

It's a smart path. Communities should take strides toward being more pedestrian friendly as a way to make neighborhoods safer and encourage more people to move toward better health.

To fund such improvements, the city landed a $250,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation to build about 2.25 miles of sidewalks in and around many of Garden City's public schools. The grant requires no local match.

But some residents on one street in line for a sidewalk Center Street aren't interested.

A number of Center Street homeowners said the sidewalk could hurt their property values, and even encourage unwelcome foot traffic at night.

Critics also said there aren't many children living on Center Street, so there's no need for the project.

But children do go that way, and perhaps more will in the future. Youngsters who may not live on Center Street could walk that way to St. Dominic Catholic School or Alta Brown Elementary School.

Center Street also is used by children and adults headed toward Kansas Avenue for the YMCA, shopping and other destinations.

That trend may not slow down, and it's unfortunate to know that without a sidewalk they'll be walking or riding bikes on Center Street to get to those places.

While the upset homeowners on Center Street had every right to object, it's safe to say others in their neighborhood recognize the positive aspects of a new sidewalk near their homes.

Public improvements, after all, should be made with the future in mind. If placing a sidewalk on Center Street makes sense from standpoints of public safety and wellness, it's the right path to pursue.