in Checking In

Where the sidewalk begins

These people want a sidewalk on Frank Street.

These people want a sidewalk on Frank Street.

Ever since our kids first started school at Conn Elementary, I’ve wished there was a sidewalk along muddy Frank Street where every day dozens of kids and their parents trudge to and from school. After researching the process a little over a year ago, I took it upon myself to petition the property owner.

Well, this soft touch ultimately didn’t work. I backed off to let the owner decide with no pressure and the result was that the petition expired with no action. This meant I had to wait a while before I could try again.

It turns out January was late enough so I refiled my petition. This time I thought it would be useful to show the property owner that I wasn’t alone in my desire to see a sidewalk on Frank Street. One afternoon, as kids and parents were walking along Frank Street, I asked them to sign a thank-you card that I could deliver to the owner. Inside I had written “thank you for considering a sidewalk.” People gladly signed the card and I dutifully mailed it once I learned that the owner had received my petition request.

I followed up with the city on Friday to see what had come of my second petition.

It was denied. The property owner didn’t just ignore the request this time but actually turned it down. So much for the charm offensive.

I’m not one to lick my wounds, though, and I’m far from giving up on this sidewalk. While I’m disappointed the property owner has chosen not to see it my way (or our way, I should say), there are schoolkids who need a safe path to get home and Frank Street’s city-owned right of way is the perfect place for it. It’s time to break out the big guns and get this done for the community.