NORTH HUGHES gets SIDEWALKS,Community Development and Stimulus Funding used.

by Fransetta Crow

It was 5 years ago in 2005, that the first grant application was submitted for sidewalks for North Hughes Street to the Community Development Block Grant Committee of the City of Amarillo. It was the beginning of a vision I had and still do have from 2005 when the North Amarillo Community Task Force was appointed by Mayor Debra McCartt. I wrote and presented a poem to our Mayor asking her to help clean up our community at a community meeting held at the United Citizens Forum.  My vision is to improve my community and the infrastructure of my neighborhood and make  Hughes Street a SAFE USER FRIENDLY Street for the pedestrians that have to utilize it everyday .” Changing our streets is an issue that touches on livability in a community for everyone “, says Dan Burden, the founder of walkable Communities for everyone in the 2007 AARP Bulletin.

The effort of a few concerned and determined community active residents worked together and put together their time and skills to apply for funding , thru a grant from the Community Development Block Grant and the City of Amarillo. Those Involved were : Fransetta Crow, Diana King Smith, Dwight Cowens and other volunteers . Because of our efforts, the main Thurfare in  NortHeights Amarillo will finally get sidewalks and handicap accessible ramps to allow disabled people to travel in a safe manner along with many other people that live in the community. This project began today and the construction company has already demonstrated that they are not intendending to improve our community but intend to PIECE MILL the sidewalks and not make it uniformed and in order and compliance with government standards. Not only is this an insult to the NorthHeights residents and tax payers, but a violation of the use of Federal Dollars.

We have waited for over 80 years to get sidewalks for the first time while many parts of the city not only have uniformed sidewalks in their community but paved alleys as well . Now that we finally qualify to get sidewalks, the City has approved the half hearted botching and throwing together a poorly planned project that will not improve the appearance of our community, and will also have to be readdressed in the future if not done right. WE WANT OUR SIDEWALKS TO BE AN IMPROVEMENT NOT A PIECE MILLED JOKE. We need to call the city leaders and complain about this unprofessional mess that has been approved . In the Independent Newspaper last week  there is an article that talks about the Revitalization of Downtown Amarillo, and sidewalks are part of the plan.  I am  sure that they won’t patch up and piece mill the sidewalks while using part of our tax dollar. Something needs to be said,and the community needs to protest the intentions of the City of Amarillo and the Construction Co. that has contracted to half do a job that is long, long, long over do.

” When people walk out their doors, their streets should give them the option to walk, drive, ride a bus or  ride a bike “, says Bill Wilkings , executive director of the National Center for Bicyling and Walking. Commitment to  pedestrian safety is part of a project known as COMPLETE STREETS. There was a bill in 2007 in the Senate that require any road project using federal funds to meet complete standards. It is also a violation of federal and State equal access disability laws, for failing to maintain and upgrade pedestrian walkways. Improving the infrastructure of a low Income neighborhood by installing sidewalks is not only good for the disabled, Senior citizens, individuals, but the community as a whole.

If you would like more information on the sidewalks contact the Engineering Department at City of Amarillo, Issac Rangel (806) 378-9334 or the Contractor (806) 371-728.

For more information on Complete Streets:  www.COMPLETESTREETS.ORG

I AM PROUD TO HAVE BEEN APART OF A PROJECT THAT WILL BE ANOTHER POSITIVE IMPROVEMENT FOR THE  NORTHEIGHTS Community and North Amarillo. However there is rumor that there are some people that don’t feel that sidewalks are needed on North Hughes and is a waste of money. Well my reply to them is: “It might not be important to you, but it is to those who use it every day and put themselves in harmsway .” If you don’t live in a community I don’t feel you should have a voice  or power to make decisions that affect other tax payers livelihoods. We as Black people should be aware of those that are suppose to be representing us, and  or assigned or voted for to render a service for those that voted for them. Black Amarillo we need to wake up!!!

If you don’t feel sidewalks are needed on NORTH HUGHES, write me and comment on what you think. If you Want to comment on the City approving the poor construction of the sidewalks in our community and think it’s wrong speak up now we want you to stand up with us and fight for the right thing.  The next Project is to get The DEAD TREES REMOVED FROM OUR COMMUNITY. I hope it won’t take 5 more years, maybe the City of Amarillo will apply some of that Stimulus Money to accomplish that problem also.

Goodbye for Now!

Frankly Fran

Copyright 2010 – Fransetta Crow. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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Comments

  1. avatar I Grayson says:

    Keep speaking truth to power Fran.

  2. avatar Tanya Roland says:

    It is so true, that the people in North Amarillo should take a stand for what is already ours, we should be able to want people to come and speak well about our side of town because of the beauity that we DON’T HAVE YET, I think the city of Amarillo should be dozzing down all of the condemed houses, making room for BRAND NEW HOMES in our community LIKE ON THE SOUTH SIDE of Amarillo, Tx.. Altho there has been a small clean up, but not enough to get excited about.

  3. avatar D. Mitchell says:

    Fri- 2/19/2010

    Fran,
    Thanks so-o-o much for the TRUTHS and FACTS you wrote in your article, North Hughes Gets Sidewalks. I AGREE with you WHOLE HEARTEDLY! Every since I returned to Amarillo 3 years ago YOU have been A POSITIVE CONSTANT in bringing CHANGE to and making IMPROVEMENTS in our community. WE DO NEED THE SIDEWALKS and WE DO CARE ABOUT HOW OUR COMMUNITY LOOKS so to HAVE THEM PUT IN and LAID DOWN ACCORDING TO GOVERNMEMT CODE will not only BE SAFE TO USE but WILL BE A BENEFIT TO ALL. City Of Amarillo, PLEASE TAKE NOTE, LISTEN UP, and DO THE RIGHT THING as you PUT IN/DOWN OUR SIDEWALKS ON NORTH HUGHES STREET! IT WILL BE GREATLY APRECIATED!!! WE DO NOT WANT OUR COMMUNITY TO CONTINUE TO LOOK LIKE A BOMBED OUT WAR ZONE nor DO WE WANT IT TO BE THOUGHT OF or USED AS A PLACE TO DUMP TRASH! WE WANT TO BE PROUD OF THE WAY OUR COMMUNITY LOOKS and HAVE IT BROUGHT UP TO THE SAME STANDARD and KEEPING as ALL the OTHER PARTS of THIS CITY! WAY TO GO FRAN!!! YES! NEXT, THE REMOVAL OF THE DEAD TREES! THANKS for YOUR CARING HEART, your labour has not gone unnoticed nor has it been in vain. Keep your spirit high as you CONTINUE TO GIVE BACK…