North Hughes Sidewalks: A layman’s perspective

By Dexter Harper

The construction of sidewalks on North Hughes Street started recently and is nearing completion on the east side of the roadway. If you are like me, your primary view of the project comes from your vehicle as you go about your busy day. With that in mind, BlackAmarillo.com compiled a photo essay of the project.

Keep in mind that this is only one layman’s perspective as documented by his camera. Not having any construction background or equipped with mandatory city, state or federal guidelines I will only display the photos and comment on a few things that seemed odd to this layman.

Sidewalks starting at the curb with small retaining wall.

Sidewalk butted against fence, no retaining wall.

Newly poured driveway cracked and broken.

New mailboxes installed …

… but not everywhere.

New sidewalk cracked.

South side of NW 14th and Hughes, without a measuring tape I can’t tell you the exact measurements. But I can tell you that these are my size 14 shoes and this is a newly poured wheelchair ramp.  But will a wheelchair fit in this space?

North side of NW 14th and Hughes, once again my ugly size 14’s. Newly poured wheelchair ramp but notice the width difference compared to the previous photo.

No, it wasn’t as green as Forest Lawn, but it was in better shape before construction began

Kept my shoes on for this one, but really is this enough room for a wheelchair to navigate?

New meets the old, words serve no purpose here, photo screams injustice.

As I stated above, this is just one layman’s perspective as documented with his camera.

Your comments and opinions on this project are greatly needed.

[Note: To see pictures in full view, click on the photo, when the next page loads click on the photo again.]

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Comments

  1. avatar Sharon Hale Frazier says:

    Hello Joycelyn. Just wondering if and when the next City Hall meeting was and if you were able to attend. I don’t live in Amarillo any longer but would like to, at one point and time, return to my family home. But not if the city remains the same way that it was 30 years ago. I find it so hard to believe that the Heights is settling for less. I would love to speak with the ones who are “supposed” to be representing the Heights to see what they have to say as to “why” the community hasn’t progressed in 30 years.( And that is no exaggeration). It is the same as I left it, if not worse, and I’ve been away for 30 years or more.

  2. avatar Joycelyn McQueen says:

    I agree with Sharon on this matter. If we do not stand up for what is right then we are as much to blame as those who allowed this to happen to the North Heights community. I remember a time when we would stick up for what right to fix the wrong in the community. If we allow Mayor McCart to just allow any and everything to be acceptable in the North Heights Community and not Give voice to the People here on the North Side We will never over come the adversities we have. It is time for Change through out the Black Community.If”We Stand for this We Will Stand For ANYTHING THAT IS THROWN OUR WAY! (Example). We were so grateful to get a street and Park named after Dr. Martin Luther King that we did not really stop to think about the placement of them. The street Leads DIRECTLY TO THE PRISON AND THAT’S WHERE IT ENDS. “THE PARK WAS PLACE ON SWAMP LAND and in my view is unacceptable because right behind it is what the call HOBO VILLAGE Now if that had been on the South Side of town They would not have stood for that. Look how hard they fought to keep a halfway house from being added to there part of the community.”NOW is the time for the community to get back to being a village. Our roots are with the church but if we let the churches continue to lead the way and not speak on the rights of the community then we are no better than those who sit in the churches and sit idle in the wake of catastrophe. Please any and every one that reads these plea’s for the community come together and be at the next City Hall Meeting. I know I plan to be.

  3. avatar Sharon Hale Frazier says:

    Get a group of people together, all ages, and make it a point to attend the next City Hall Meeting. Not only put the Mayor and City commissioners on alert, but whoever is “supposed” to be representing North Heights should, more than anyone, be held accountable. He/she, is supposed to be the “voice” of the people, the community. I really hope he/she is not speaking for the people of North Heights because if so, they don’t have a heck of a lot to say. The City will only treat “North Heights”, the way “North Heights” allowes them. It’s time to put a stop to it. Use your voices at the next, and the next and the next City Hall meeting. As many as it takes to wake them up.

  4. avatar leigh cravin says:

    What do the many black churches in North Heights have to say about the ongoing decay in the community? That is my question. I am fed up to here with the various and sundry non-scriptural, self-indulgent, self-promoting, lookee-me, gimme-me money, so-call church leaders who have relinquished what used to be a voice for community change. What we have now are a bunch of air-headed, “Furst-Lay-dees,” “I can sang and wave my hand high in the sky,” American Idol in the pulpit wanna bees, who are content to watch their own personal wealth increase to the detriment of folks who can least afford it—black women. Hey, folks, the latest data said that a black woman’s average wealth is $100, compared to $41,500 for white women. But look at who is filing these church pews–a lot of older black women, in bondage to pulpits who are having a field day with their social security and SSI checks. Take a look at the preacher’s houses, car, and glad rags. Yet these same so-call “cream of the crop” church folks aren’t saying a word about the sidewalks and the general community decline. Why not? Well maybe it might adversely affect what comes into the collection plate. What would Jesus say? Jesus was not some slick-haired, Lexus driving, go along to get along wus. Instead he challenged authority, he spoke up for the poor and defenseless, drove out the money-changers, and boldly went to the cross. These jack-leg preachers in Amarillo need to be hooked up to a plow and made to do some real work. They and their “Furst Lay-dees” are too comfortable to speak out. All about themselves, their mail-order clothes, their puffed up finery, putting on a Sunday fashion show. A disgrace!!! They are part of the problem and not the solution. Yes I dared to say all this. And I have more to say about the local black churches.

  5. avatar D. Mitchell says:

    Thanks Mr. Harper for the pictures taken from one laymen’s point of view. What I see in them greives my spirit and makes me feel angry and hurt because they bring to light THE MESS that has been made thus far of the SIDEWALKS ON NORTH HUGHES STREET. No fault of the contractors, they can only do the job as they are instructed to do. Compared to other areas of the city what has been done in the North Heights Community is a reflection of the City Leaders involved, our Mayor, City Commissioners, Director over the Block Grant Program for Community Development and the City Engineers. Not only does this show their lack of care and concern but is a GROSS WASTE OF STIMULUS MONEY!!! City Leaders STOP! HALT! the work being done… RE-DO IT! and PLEASE do this side of the street right according to government code before going to the other side. Acknowledge it or not NORTH HUGHES STREET is a BUSY Thorough Fare in this city and needs to be developed as such(there are Historical Homes and some places of Business on this street that should be refurbished)as well as look the part with uniformed sidewalks! PLEASE DO NOT WASTE ANY MORE TIME AND MONEY… SOMETHING OUGHT TO BE SAID and so it has been and no doubt will continue to be voiced through the many pictures taken, many articles written and many comments made concerning THE SIDEWALKS!!! What part of DO THE RIGHT THING do you(City Leaders) not understand???

  6. avatar chanel says:

    Why is it that when the Northside gets something we get shafted and halfassed. I grew up in this neighborhood and when I come home to visit I shed a tear looking at the mess I drive past. First of all who’s idea was it to start with sidewalks when more then half of what they are placing the ragedy, poorly done sidewalks in front of need to be bulldozed down? I currently live in Plano,Tx but even the low income parts of the metroplex looks better then North Hieghts.
    What happen to setting a standard? Making people pay fines for parking on the grass, not taking out the trash, having broken down cars parked on the side of the road, setting up community programs to clean up the neighborhood and check on the elderly. Most of the people that live in North Heights are elderly and can’t do the things that need to be done for upkeep. It already looks sad now they put in bootleg sidewalks to make it look worse….more money wasted. I guess its a way to say they gave the black man 40 arces and now we’ll give him a broke down mule. In my opinon they could’ve used this money for something else other then crooked,cracked, cheap sidewalks..

  7. avatar Kami Ashley says:

    Well well well……. Where shall I start? As a young Black person my first thought was, ‘ Somebody didn’t know what they were doing and they are getting paid to waste time, cement, sod, cheap metal mail boxes (look good right now but wait til the water hit em’), Black and Mexican talent, and money’. You know compared to the rich and classy White side of town when they built and rebuilt sidewalks and wheelchair ramps, what they have done on the Black side of town is very (excuse the expression) half assed. How in the world is a wheel chair about to fit on that one of several ramps without endangering the occupant and causing a potential mess? And not only that. I noticed that the new sidewalks slant at a very unhealthy angle in which if you get distracted and happen to be looking at something while walking, your body will go with the angle and you will find yourself out in the street possibly and more than likely putting you in danger. And yes I am a rather large person and when I was looking at the photos and the actual side walks, I was stuck thinking that if I wanted to go walking as exercise and I had invited a friend, how would we both FIT on that SMALL, NARROW, CROOKED, LUMPY, and ROUGH sidewalk? There is enough room to walk toe-to-heel but not the normal way of walking which is with your feet side by side at an even distance apart. I don’t understand. And what is up with the gaps and spaces between the new sidewalks and property? Is that supposed to be saying that whomever lives at the residence does not own the portion of sidewalk that crosses in front of their home and therefore cannot get happy and possibly be able to brag ” Hey check out my new jacked up sidewalk! Them cracks is nice, huh?” to whomever comes to visit?

    I don’t believe I understand the purpose of the stimulus for the north side of town if the job is gonna get half done and be a safety hazard when it wasn’t in the first place. If the north side looks so bad why are there new projects to improve when in all actuality it is in fact making the north side look worse? They only do this stuff to Black people and then wonder why no one has respect for what is there when the contractors and workers don’t have respect for things in the first place.

    And another thing… The workers knew better. They could have done things the right way in the first place. Yes, I do blame them because they had the power to lay the foundation and cement neatly so there would be as little amount of problems or mistakes as possible. Now if a large number of people complain, the workers may have to tear the sidewalks up and correct most if not all of the mistakes and problems. And there goes a large portion of the stimulus WASTED on laziness.

    I really hate to sound racist and prejudiced to the public eye, but it seems like to me someone is either wasting money, keeping it to improve the better looking and more “civilized” side of town, or the money is about to disappear all together and when asked what happened with it, it will be said to have been spent on the planned improvement of the north side of town.

    I’m just sayin….