Susanne: Sumac Story Shared at Nov 21, 2019 Open House
I moved to Sumac Avenue in 2000. I had a toddler and was pregnant. We moved here from Gunbarrel for the school, and to be in town. I was surprised that there were no sidewalks.
After we moved in, I realized it would be hard for my kids to get to school in a safe way. I joined some of the Safe Routes to School meetings - I wasn’t working, so I got involved in advocating for sidewalks. I called the city, and sidewalks were not on their radar at all. That was very frustrating.
I tried really hard - I talked to my neighbors and found that people didn’t want a sidewalk on the street. Especially the old-timers. When the street was annexed into the city, the residents said they wanted to keep the rural character of the street. So, I gave up.
My husband or I would walk or bike with our kids everyday, but when they got older (fourth and fifth grade), they went by themselves. It was a little scary! They definitely biked or walked just about every day.
Now, the patchwork and the potholes and the drainage problems - it’s just such an unkempt street. It’s frustrating to me that we have this “ghetto” street in such a wealthy town. Now, my kids are in college. I’ve been working on this almost 20 years.