Why aren't we paying for sidwalks?

A Strong Town Pays for Its Sidewalks

Like many communities across the nation, Eugene pays for its roads and bike infrastructure using tax dollars and other public funds, but sidewalks are the responsibility of individual property owners.  This makes it difficult to ensure a consistent, safe sidewalk network, and makes pedestrian a lower priority when funding transportation improvements.  Strong Towns has an article about sidewalk funding mechanism. 

Policies that place this burden upon homeowners do nothing to promote the further spread of walkable communities, especially in older suburbs like ours where the sidewalks have reached the end of their effective lifespans. We live in one of the newer sections of town, built in the late 1930s, and a walk around conspicuously shows the lack of real priority this walkable community places on its pedestrians. The borough budget covers the full freight of the asphalt between the curbs, making Jenkintown more accurately described as drivable and park-able.
— Randy Garbin, Strong Towns