Paul and Anne Kleppert celebrate the new sidewalks installed by their house.

Paul and Anne Kleppert celebrate the new sidewalks installed by their house.

Photo by Mary Genson


‘The loneliest sidewalk in Beverly Hills’ is finally connected

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published December 7, 2022

BEVERLY HILLS — For decades, Paul and Anne Kleppert have lived in an 1877 Victorian-style home that, until recently, sat behind what they referred to as the “loneliest sidewalk in Beverly Hills.”

They purchased this home after they got married and decided to raise their children in it. While maintaining the integrity of the home and all of its classic elements, they have renovated it to meet their needs throughout the many years they have lived in it.

The only problem was, the sidewalk in front of their house did not connect to anything.

 

Living on the “loneliest sidewalk in Beverly Hills”
This piece of sidewalk came to be around the 1970s, when the second owners bought the property and were mandated to put a sidewalk in when they built the subdivision around what is now the Kleppert’s home.

“They had to satisfy the village’s requirements, and they did, even though it connected to nothing and went nowhere,” Paul Kleppert said.

The Kleppert family has always had a fascination with classic and antique bicycles, which ultimately brought to their attention the lack of sidewalks in Beverly Hills.

They did not think there were enough sidewalks for the community to use for travel and leisure. This was especially true in front of their house, where the only place to leisurely cruise or go for a stroll was the short stretch in front of their home.

Once the Kleppert children were in middle school, one thing they particularly enjoyed was riding their bikes to school, but the areas without sidewalks on their walk made it difficult for them to do so.

The Klepperts had hoped that their sidewalk issue would at least be resolved by the time their grandchildren were old enough to ride their bikes to their house. Finally, over 20 years later, they are able to say their hard work has paid off.

 

The Pathways Plan
The  Klepperts have been active in finding a resolution for the sidewalks in Beverly Hills, including the lonely stretch in front of their house.

Back in the early 2000s, they were involved with the formation of the Pathways Plan, which strived to make Beverly Hills more walkable.

This plan was approved by the Village Council in October 2001. Once the plan was approved, the council voted to put together a working group to discuss how to make this plan a reality. Paul was one of the seven members of the committee instructed to prioritize and develop a funding program to implement the approved plan.

The committee created a ballot proposal for a 0.37 mill assessment to fund the plan. That ballot proposal was defeated by the residents of the village March 10, 2003.

Prior to this vote, the Pathways Plan was added to the Beverly Hills Master Plan. So, while it was an approved plan, it took years for the village to make progress on it.

Finally, in 2022, the council voted unanimously to use village funds to add the sidewalk to 14 Mile while they were planning for contractors to be there to resurface the road. Beverly Hills Councilman John George said this provided some cost efficiencies as the mobilization and traffic control were already in place.

 

Enjoying the new sidewalks
With the new sidewalks installed, the Klepperts said they have seen how it is already benefiting people in the community. They have already seen people walking on the new sidewalk.

Before, they said, they would sit on their porch and watch as people had to walk on the other side of the road. But now, they are able to talk to people as they walk by.

“To have the people coming out and meeting new people has been great,” Anne Kleppert said. “It has been great having a more walkable, rideable and enjoyable community.”