Clinton Won't Fund Additional Sidewalk To New School - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Clinton Won't Fund Additional Sidewalk To New School

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While construction continues with the new Clinton Middle School, so do concerns with its public entry way on 13th Ave. N, which is considered to be a busy road. City council voted to abandon a sidewalk project that superintendent Deb Olson says would have helped make the entrance safer.

There is already a sidewalk on the opposite side of the street of the school. A sidewalk is also being built on the west side of the entrance driveway, and it continues down to the school. Olson wanted the city to add one more sidewalk on the east side of the driveway, but some council members say that would mean the children would have to cross the driveway, considering the sidewalk would not have continued down to the school as it does on the west side. That safety concern led to council voting to end the project.

"I'm very dismayed at this action to reverse this earlier decision," Olson said.

For almost a year, she says she has been in agreement with the city engineer and city administrator about adding a sidewalk on the east side of the driveway along 13th Ave. N.

"It was a way to make the entrance safer for our children to be able to walk to school," Olson said.

"The reason I voted no was just for that reason," council member Ed O'Neill said. "For the safety."

He says the sidewalk would only make sense if it continued downhill to the school.

"That sidewalk should be on that side of the driveway for the safety issue of the children not having to cross the driveway," he said.

He and three others, the majority, voted to abandon the $155,000 project.

"We're stewards of the taxpayers money, so spending more money wisely is the question," O'Neill said.

More than 1,000 people are expected to travel through the entrance per day. There are no plans to add a traffic light. Despite this, Olson recently said she wasn't too concerned about the entry, with a let's-wait-and-see approach to trying out a crossing guard and, of course, the sidewalks. Her opinion has since changed.

"I believe there is more concern," she said. "Now, knowing what we know, at least with this planning that will go on in early September, we can utilize that in order to be able to make plans."

She says more students will now need to be dropped off by car.

"The other part will be increased bussing, on the efforts of the school district, which will lead to more increased costs," she said.

Still, she says moving two middle schools into one is a positive change.

"It's an awesome time for us," she said.

In two weeks, Olson plans to meet with police, city and school district officials to come up with a traffic flow plan for the new middle school.

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