Safe sidewalks are now a reality

To the editor:

Six years ago, some concerned citizens sat down with mayor David Taylor and members of city council to find a way to make South Lake Street safer for residents between Van Oaks Street and River’s Edge Drive.

The twisting dip, without sidewalks, was bound to have an unfortunate incident take place on it. The mayor worked with us and allowed us to pursue state grants that would not require any local money or taxes from Amherst to try to solve our issue.

The Ohio Department of Transportation funds “Safe Routes To Schools” grants and approved this area as a major concern even on the state level. Julie Ciccello of ODOT worked with us to assist in writing a grant proposal. As of last week, the project is complete and children on the south end of town can now assess Amherst Junior High, Harris Elementary, and all other schools with a continuous sidewalk the entire way.

I would like to thank the following people for helping this sidewalk become reality:

• Mayor Taylor, his administrative staff, and city council for countless meetings to allow this SRTS grant to become a reality.

• Amherst police chief Joe Kucerick and his police department, who manned the roads for days while heavy construction vehicles and contractors reshaped the culvert and added the sidewalks to this area.

• Amherst Schools superintendent Steve Sayers for allowing the grant committee to survey parents and students at some of his buildings to see who would allow their children to walk to school if sidewalks were provided.

• Julie Ciccello of ODOT for being an invaluable resource throughout the grant writing process and the planning of this project.

• Perk Construction, Bramhall Engineering, and Amherst utilities department, which allowed this construction process to take place safely.

Great things happen when a team works together. Thank you for making this great city of Amherst safer for our children and all residents!

Joe Tellier