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Marietta neighbors want school sidewalk idea nixed | Education

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Marietta neighbors want school sidewalk idea nixed

MARIETTA -- City council members are mulling over an idea to finish a road that leads to West Side Elementary School to provide a more direct route for students.

The idea is to build a sidewalk to connect Brown Avenue to Polk Street.

Brown Avenue is a long established road that was never extended after a subdivision went in.

The problem is that the new sidewalk would cut through several backyards and wipe out Laura Harding's parking area along with her neighbor's driveway.

"If the city wants to create the walkway between our homes, it can, but the bigger issue is safety. Polk Street is dangerous. How are kids going to get across it?," said Harding.

Even city engineer Jim Wilgus, who did the primary survey, admitted it would not be an easy project.

"We would have to come up for someway for the kids to safely cross Polk Street. It is a very busy, busy street," said Wilgus.

Wilgus said ideas being talked include a crossing guard, lighted flashing signs or even an elevated crosswalk that would look like a giant speed bump.

All of it would be costly and according to school officials the new sidewalk would accommodate just three students who would likely use the new route.

At least one city council member is suggesting an easier solution.

Councilwoman Annette Lewis is asking the Marietta School District if it could have school buses pick up those three elementary school children.

Technically, because they live within a mile and a half of the campus they are expected to walk if necessary, but exceptions can be made if safety is a concern.

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