READER’S EDITORIAL: CALL TO ACTION IN LEMON GROVE – SIDEWALKS ARE NEEDED TO PROTECT PUBLIC SAFETY

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By Elenna Hernandez, Helix Charter High School student

May 24, 2019 (Lemon Grove) -- Dear citizens of Lemon Grove:  the city of Lemon Grove is in desperate need of sidewalks all around the neighborhood. In the main streets, there are sidewalks, but in some blocks, we do not have any kind of sidewalks. All of Washington Street, Cypress Street, Bonita Street and others do not contain a sidewalk other than the corners in which the main streets are connected to. Due to no sidewalks around the city, citizens of Lemon Grove at any age can be in danger when they have to walk, either on a run, walk home or to get to places they need to go. 

There is an elementary school, Mount Vernon Elementary School, that is on Mount Vernon Street. Washington Street intersects Mount Vernon Street; parts of Mount Vernon Street contain a sidewalk but Washington Street does not have a sidewalk. Some children need to walk home, like how my sibling and I used to, but not all live on Mount Vernon Street. Some children would need to walk on Washington Street, which means the children could be in danger if either the children or driver is not careful. 

This is not a problem the city can change, but only the citizens of Lemon Grove. The city is responsible for certain damage to the sidewalk “caused by vehicle accidents, water main breaks, grade subsidence and trees within the Right-of-Way,” but when it comes to “normal sidewalk wear and tear or age damage [it] is the responsibility of the homeowner” stated on the article Street Division.  

Although the city is not able to make changes, according to the article Lemon Grove Seeks Improved Sidewalks they have “been seeking innovative, cost-saving ways to fix existing sidewalks and bring more sidewalks into several of the city’s corridors”. For one the city thought about asking “property owners to pay for sidewalk improvements over 10 to 20 years” according to Karean Pearlman. Another idea was “the City Council could require participation only if entire block sections agree to participate” based on the article Lemon Grove City Council Agenda Item Summary. This would mean that the homeowner would have to lose part of their property in order to have sidewalk along the block. The third idea the city had was for the City Council to “offer no- or low-interest rate loans to property owners to finance the sidewalk installations” reported by Karen Pearlman. 

Clearly, not all citizens are going to be able to participate in paying for the sidewalks around their neighborhood but just consider saving up money for the sake of sidewalks.  Participating in any of the ideas the city has to offer 

If we, the community, work together on agreeing to give up some of our property we can make a difference in our city. The children that have to walk home, those who walk or run around their neighborhood, and for those who have to get places would not have to be worried about being in danger. The citizens of our community could be safe with new sidewalks if only we all participate. As a matter of fact, “studies show the presence of sidewalks reduces pedestrian crashes by 88 percent, and encourages people to walk more” claimed in the article 2015 Regional Walk Scorecard written by Kathleen Ferrier.

Remember:  you, the citizen, can make a change in the city you live in. Consider making a change, not only for your safety but others as well. Thank you!

The opinions in this editorial reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.