SAN ANTONIO --As people across the city ask for sidewalks and lighting to be added to their streets and parks for safety, one councilman wants to make sure they are placed around schools first.
District 1 councilman, Diego Bernal, presented a proposal to city leaders today that would make it a priority to construct sidewalks around schools and add lighting, if necessary, for the safety of students dodging traffic as they walk along the street.
"We have to figure out how to set money aside to do an evaluation of all the schools that need it," said Bernal.
The councilman hopes others city leaders and taxpayers agree with the upgrades.
“Part of what the way the city does business should be automatically identifying schools that need sidewalks and lighting and do it,” he added.
As a cement truck slowly poured out a gritty mixture, Andrea Samarripa stood in her driveway and smiled.
The homeowner was relieved city workers were finally paving the way for sidewalks along El Monte Boulevard.
“Everyday, I see the kids and people having to walk on the street. The ambulance comes by the fire engines and you see them jump in the grass," she stated.
Samarripa told us the streets are not a safe place for anyone to walk, especially children. Luckily, she doesn’t have to wait any longer.
Her neighbor, Sonia Correa, said she sent e-mails, called and waited 20 years to see this.
So, would it be fair to ask others who’ve been waiting to step aside a bit longer allowing the city to take care of school zones first?
“The questions they're asking, what about my street?," said Bernal. "Schools have been waiting and asking the same question. We're just saying, if we have to prioritize, if we have to pick between the two, let's start here."
Now the councilman will wait to see if others agree to his plan and it becomes part of the city’s agenda.
Bernal doesn’t think other budget-minded councilmembers will object. He said the plan could be worked into the city operating budget in the fall. Bernal insists the cost could be minimal and he hopes school districts will agree to absorb some of it.
If not, he still thinks sidewalks and lighting around schools should be a priority.