Walkers Hope for Sidewalk Along Dangerous Road
By DREW PETRIMOULX
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Every day, Kanisha Hatton walks along a dirt trail dangerously close to busy Roosevelt Rd.
Hatton is a working, single mother who’s part of a homeless prevention program at the Our House shelter where she gets job training and child care for her daughter.
“One of the things that is a real concern for all of our residents is finding a safe way to get to and from their jobs,” said Our House Executive Director Georgia Mjartan.
Mjartan has been working to get a side walk built along the road for six years. She says hundreds of people walk the route every day to reach a bus stop.
But, she says, city leaders and state highway officials cannot agree on whose responsibility it is.
“To put people in that kind of a situation because our political leaders can’t make up their mind is just wrong,” Mjartan said.
Kevin Theall saw the need first hand two weeks ago when an Our House client was hit by a car.
“What I saw was him on the ground and… cars piling up behind him trying to get around,” he said.
Theall pulled the man to safety. He escaped with a dislocated shoulder.
“That almost happened to me last year walking the same path,” Hatton said.
No one at Our House was surprised it happened, especially not Hatton.
Recently, a grant became available to build the sidewalk if the city will agree to pitch in.
Considering the struggle it has been, the folks at Our House say they’re cautiously optimistic.
“They should do what they need to do to create safety for the residents and the people that live in this community,” Hatton said.
Construction of a sidewalk has been priced at $200,000. To get the grant the city would have to pay $40,000.
The plan is expected to be before the board of directors next month.