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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • City looks to invest in sidewalks

  • Each school day, students from Northwest Elementary, Soule Elementary and Dodge City Middle School walk to and from their classes. But not all students are walking on sidewalks.In particular, significant portions of Soule St between 6th Ave and 14th Ave are without sidewalks, leading students to walk on private proper...
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  • Each school day, students from Northwest Elementary, Soule Elementary and Dodge City Middle School walk to and from their classes. But not all students are walking on sidewalks. In particular, significant portions of Soule St between 6th Ave and 14th Ave are without sidewalks, leading students to walk on private property and sometimes into the street. The situation has been a concern for parents, says Northwest Principal Kathy Ramsour. “It's a safety issue in our community and for those that walk or jog,” Ramsour said. According to Director of Dodge City Parks and Recreation Paul Lewis, the city is taking steps to address sidewalk issues, including the one on Soule St. “We've established a work group to look at that and see what it involves and get more information on those opportunities and see how we want to proceed,” Lewis said. One program the city is looking into is the Kansas Federal-aid Safe Routes to Schools Program (SRTS). Offered by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), the program provides reimbursements to local public authorities and school districts for projects that allow for safer, more enjoyable and routine walking and bicycling to school. The program is comprehensive, requiring a planning component as well as law enforcement and educational elements. “We'll bring a team together of city employees and hope to get some representation from the school district as well and do a more involved review of the program and see if it's something we want to pursue and something that makes sense for Dodge City,” Lewis said. Lewis acknowledged there are areas in the city that don't have sidewalks and that those areas warrant consideration. “You have to come up with a smart solution that works both for the neighbors and provides that pathway that people are wanting,” Lewis said. Sidewalks are typically located on private property and fall under the homeowner's responsibility. However, there are programs available from the city to help with sidewalk repair. The city encourages those who notice sidewalk problems to contact the city's office.

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