Would you take a few minutes to help the City of Waco earn $500,000 for sidewalks?
By Ashley Bean Thornton
The City of Waco is diligently working on applications for grants that would help pay for walking and biking infrastructure for Waco, particularly in areas near our public schools. These are huge grants from Texas Department of Transportation’s 2019 Call for Projects for both the Safe Route to School (SRTS) Program and Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program.
A successful grant application could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars for our community specifically earmarked for sidewalk and bike/walk improvements.
They need our help! An important part of the application will be letters of support from the community.
Jim Reed, Capital Improvement Program Manager with City of Waco Public Works, is managing the grant application process. He says, “Your letter would make a big difference in the success of our efforts. The State review committee asks all letters to written from your heart. The review committee loves it to be personal. Please share this request with your neighbors. All letters received shall be incorporated into our applications.”
See below for the list of possible projects. Please take just a few minutes to write a quick, heartfelt email supporting one or more of these projects. If you live in one of these neighborhoods, have kids in one of these schools, teach at one of these schools or have any personal connection at all – your letter could be especially valuable for this process. Just a few sentences explaining your connection and why you think the project is important, could make a huge difference to our efforts to win this grant! Even one or two sentences could help.
This is a quick and easy way to make a positive difference in our community.
Please send your email by May 15 to Jim Reed: [email protected].
List of Possible Projects:
- Alta Vista
- Cesar Chavez
- Indian Spring Middle School
- J. H. Hines Elementary
- Provident Heights Elementary
- South Waco Elementary
- Cedar Ridge Neighborhood
- Mars Drive
- MKT (railroad conversion) East Waco
This Act Locally Waco blog post is by Ashley Bean Thornton, she has lived in Waco almost 20 years now. Far longer than she ever lived anywhere else. She likes to walk. If you see her out walking, honk and wave and say, “Hi!”
The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.
During the last few years, I’ve frequently substituted at Indian Springs and Cesar Chavez Middle Schools as well as University High School, and I have often worried about the safety of students walking in the streets. Consequently, the City of Waco needs to install sidewalks around these schools and on the way to them.
Sidewalks are for able bodied people.
On my mobility scooter, I have encountered time after time, barriers to sidewalk entry. If I don’t park tight against the curb, I won’t be able to access the sidewalk.
Waco is up and coming; to make it a more pedestrian friendly community there need to be accessible sidewalks to make everyone feel more welcome.
Walking is the most basic form of transportation, and sidewalks are essential to walking. Without them, a city is unfinished, for it lacks the most basic aid to transportation.
Students suffer the most when transportation is inadequate, for they have to walk on lawns–impractical–or in streets–unsafe!–or be driven to school by parents–impossible if parents have no car or have to work.
More sidewalks are essential!