Education Pensacola Politics

Sidewalks for Burgess Road garner support from school district

August 4, 2017

Councilwoman Sherri Myers wants the City of Pensacola to build sidewalks on Burgess Road to create a safe path for children to walk to the three public schools in the area.

Mayor Ashton Hayward has taken available funds Myers believed were available for the sidewalks and applied them to the budget for $8-million community center he wants to build at Bayview Park.

Yesterday, Myers received a letter of support for the sidewalks from Robert Doss, Jr., Director of Transportation for the Escambia County School District. See Letter of Support – Burgess Road – Signed 20170803.

“As you know, sidewalks not only offer a safe place for children to walk to and from school, they also provide safe walking access for the community as a whole,” wrote Doss.

“I support the installation of sidewalks along Burgess Road and along other roads on which Escambia County School District students are inclined to walk in order to avoid drainage ditches, sluiceways,swales, or channels as they travel by foot or bicycle between home and school.”

The question remains for Mayor Hayward: Is safety of children walking to school a need or a want? Are the lives of children in one district less important than others?

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2 Comments

  • Reply Julia Pearsall August 4, 2017 at 10:41 am

    My husband and I live in East Hill near Bayview Park. We do not need a high priced community center. I believe it is much more important to have sidewalks on Burgess Road. This is a safety issue and should have been completed years ago.

  • Reply CJ Lewis August 4, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Councilwoman Myers’ proposed ordinance for investing LOST IV dollars in neighborhoods is on Thursday’s agenda. Under her plan, City Council members would no longer have to kowtow to the Mayor to beg to use the people’s LOST dollars for their districts and especially their neighborhoods. Specifically, each year when the county transfers to the city its portion of LOST dollars, estimated to be $87 million over the ten year run of the LOST IV approval, the dollars will be divided up equally by district with each receiving 1/7th of the dollars. Citizens to include a mandated Citizens’ LOST Commission would assess the needs of their districts and propose how best to spend the money. For example, as soon as their are enough dollars in the District 2 LOST fund, or sooner if she wanted the city to issue a bond to be repaid using District 2 LOST dollars, Myers could ask the City Council to spend them to pay for the entire Burgess Road project to include not just sidewalks but addressing that roads hellish drainage issues, need for better lighting, bicycle lanes and, of course, sidewalks. Because part of Burgess Road is outside of city limits, the city would work with the county to combine city and county LOST dollars – that part of Burgess Road is in District Commissioner Grover Robinson’s district – to do the project right the first time around. If the City Council approves Myers’ ordinance, you will see the city’s neighborhoods transformed with a steady and expansive investment of money to include my pet project the renovation of the Gull Point Resource Center now in such bad shape. In theory, Councilman Johnson could even use LOST IV dollars to pay for his pet project a $8.2 million Community Resource Center at Bayview Park. Under Myers’ proposal, District 4’s annual allotment of LOST IV dollars would first be used to repay the District 4 Bayview Park Community Resource Center debt. As for whether Bayview Park needs both a side-by-side Community Resource Center and a Senior Resource Center renovated and expanded to be a second Community Resource Center, that seems unlikely in addition to being contrary to the city’s 2011 Bayview Park Master Plan that relied upon public input.

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