Bellaire residents at odds over planned sidewalk

Residents in a Bellaire neighborhood are at odds over a plan to make improvements to their street

August 18, 2011 4:17:22 PM PDT
Residents in a Bellaire neighborhood are at odds over a plan to make improvements to their street. The improvements are meant to help with drainage. But not everyone is happy about the plans to add sidewalks.

Baldwin Avenue is a secondary street in Southdale where neighbors are worried they could soon see sidewalks replacing old trees and beautiful landscapes if the city has its way.

Neighbor Eva Engelhart said, "I don't necessarily see a need for sidewalks."

The city of Bellaire is moving forward with an $11 million drainage project along Baldwin Avenue. Part of that controversial plan includes adding sidewalks on the west side of this mile-long dead-end street.

"This is not a major street like Newcastle, so I'm not entirely positive that's a necessary project for Bellaire," Engelhart said.

Some neighbors currently use this street for recreation, and say they support the idea of sidewalks here.

Neighbor Kristin Collins said, "We've got so many kids around here. It's not always safe when they don't have a place to get off the road."

I talked to Bellaire City Manager Bernie Satterwhite about neighbors' concerns and questions. He told me the sidewalk project is part of a 10-year program called Rebuild Bellaire.

"We've dealt with this before on many of the streets that we've rebuilt," Satterwhite said. "We've had to answer those questions, and those issues. We certainly want to listen to the residents."

Satterwhite said the proposed sidewalks would meet minimum government guidelines for those with disabilities. And they would look like those recently placed on streets like Newcastle and Evergreen.

He explained, "It'll be four feet wide in most places, unless there might be a small area where you can't make it four feet wide because of trees or other obstacles."

The city is sending notices out to neighbors to get their comments about sidewalks here.

Load Comments