Property owners debate over proposed sidewalks

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MINOT, N.D. - Safety concerns over children walking to school could be a thing of the past for one Minot elementary school.

But some property owners are torn over whether a side walk should be put on their land.

To bring you up to speed, at Monday's city council meeting, members approved a cost participation with the North Dakota Department of Transportation for Washington Elementary Safe Routes to school project.

The project would include infrastructure improvements and alternative safe ways for children and people with disabilities to get to school.

Children walking to school safely--it's a major concern for parents.

"Safety is the number one priority, when you have your child walk to school and just keep them off the roads from getting hit by a car would of course be the worst thing," said Grant Huff, parent.

Grant Huff's daughter attends Washington elementary and says that, when she walks to school, she has to do so in the road.

"Safety has been one our biggest concerns at all of our schools in Minot and let alone at Washington where we do have a lot of kids who do walk and are close to these neighborhood schools and anytime we can get more sidewalks in place it really would be beneficial were they could walk home. Definitely would be a good thing," said Kendo Carlson, principal of Washington Elementary.

Now, if the grant were passed and accepted, sidewalks would be built on both sides of the street on 17th avenue from 3rd Street, all the way to 6th street, right by Washington school.

But some property owners aren't in favor of the plan.

"To be honest, with you, we're not in favor of it," said Donna Stevick.

Donna Stevick has lived on 17th avenue for more than five years, and says two sidewalks would be a burden.

"We hire someone to clean our driveway for us and if we add a sidewalk it would add that much more to keep clean. So we kind of like it the way it is," said Stevick.

Stevick says she would prefer just one sidewalk.

"If there was a side walk on just one side of the street, I don't see a need for both sides," said Stevick.

The project is contingent upon selection from the Department of Transportation, which would be applied in 2019.

The proposed project would also include a designated school crossing place on 6th street SE at 18th Avenue SE.

Also another sidewalk placed on the north side of 19th Ave SE beginning at 6th Street SE and on the east side of 6th Street SE from 19th Ave SE.