April 5, 2007 in Voices

Ponderosa walkway workshop planned

By The Spokesman-Review

Coming up

A workshop to collect comments on proposed designs for a Ponderosa neighborhood pathway is scheduled April 26 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Ponderosa Elementary School.

Another workshop has been scheduled on a new pathway in the Ponderosa neighborhood after the proposal got mixed reviews at a similar meeting several weeks ago.

In addition to drawings for a 10-foot-wide path on the north side of 44th Avenue between Woodruff and Sands Roads, engineers now are drafting an alternative design to accommodate pedestrians along the road.

In addition to a recently distributed survey to measure residents’ support for the project, a meeting April 26 at Ponderosa Elementary will collect comments on both designs.

Path supporters and the Central Valley School District have argued that children en route to Ponderosa Elementary need a safe alternative to walking on the makeshift dirt path that lines 44th Avenue now.

Last year, the city received $16,500 in federal money for surveying and designs for an asphalt path that was completed in January.

Several residents, though, feared building the path would eliminate trees, would still require children to cross Schafer Road, and that someone would have to shovel it in the winter.

Others said the city was misplacing its priorities, arguing that resources would be better spent on a third road into the area or improved pedestrian facilities on Schafer.

A staff report reviewed by the City Council this week states that a path along 44th Avenue would be a better candidate for federal funding, and that other arterials in the area have at least some form of bicycle access, such as widened shoulders.

The City Council will address the pathway next when the results of the survey become available, and eventually council members will decide whether to proceed with the project or not.

The city would apply for additional grant money to build the approximately $220,000 trail, which could be under construction as early as next year.

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