Lack Of Sidewalks Near School Is Dangerous, Parents Say

Tonya Chatman walks her daughter and several other neighborhood kids home from school everyday. She says she does it to make sure they get home safely.

"There is no sidewalk, there's no place for us to walk but in the road," Chatman said. "We've got the little bit of grass, but when it rains we have to walk in the road. On St. Joseph Street, we have no room to walk at all. It's ditch. We have to walk in the ditch."

"They play, fool around, push each, other one of them is going to get pushed in the street one time, and one of those cars speeding by," Waveland resident Kelly White said. "Doing 40 miles an hour paying no attention to these speed limits, a child's going to get hurt, and I really feel that a sidewalk would basically take care of the problem."

City leaders have started looking at the needs in the area to make walking safer for students. But like most city budgets on the Coast, money is a major factor.

"I've heard estimates anywhere from $10,000 or $12,000. I've heard estimates all the way up until the tens of thousands of dollars, so that's one of the things we need to take a look at until we have a good understanding of how we want to attack this problem," Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo said.

Mayor Longo says he supports the parents' plight, but some city Aldermen say the issue isn't that clear.

"We've had to hear things like 'Some of the neighbors may not agree to having a sidewalk in front of their home,' " White said.

Parents will take their concerns back to city leaders Tuesday Night. City leaders will discuss the sidewalk issue at a special meeting at 6p.m. at the City Hall annex building on Coleman Avenue.

Meanwhile Mayor Longo says the city will a new safety signs and more police patrols to increase safety right away.

By Al Showers