Marshall School PTA Pressing For Overdue Sidewalk Repairs | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:41


Marshall Elementary School PTA President Hope Kingma points out one of the many spots where the deteriorating sidewalk needs replacing. The PTA is hoping that an $800,000 county upgrade that has been planned for years will finally bring new walkways and a lighted intersection to the school area.

By Robert Souza

“We have been getting the runaround on this project for years,” said Kathy Del Grande of the Marshall Elementary School PTA. For nine years, she has been a vocal advocate for upgrades to the sidewalks along the campus.


Back in 2003, the Alameda County Pedestrian Master Plan described the school’s sidewalks as being “discontinuous” and “often muddy due to rain or blocked by parked cars resulting in pedestrians walking in the roadway.” It also detailed the many crosswalks which lack required ADA access ramps.


“It’s just an unsafe area and we really want the project done this summer,” said Del Grande, who has been making phone calls and sending emails to county and school district officials looking for a straight explanation for the years of inaction.


County Public Works Engineer James Chu told the Forum $800,000 in federal funding has been designated for new sidewalks on Marshall Street and Omega Avenue in addition to an illuminated crosswalk at Marshall and Fern Way.


“We’ve been successful getting a lot of grants for sidewalks at schools,” said Chu. “It can be a process that is difficult to understand.” He told the Forum plans are being finalized now and will go out to bid by the end of the month. He said he expects construction to begin by the summer break.


Chu says Castro Valley Elementary and Stanton Elementary in Castro Valley, Colonial Acres in Cherryland, and Hillside Elementary in San Lorenzo are among many schools in the county that will be getting  better sidewalks.


Del Grande remains dubious. “We’ve heard all this before,” she said. “I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, I just want to get it done.”



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