HOUSTON - A west Houston neighborhood has a solution, Friday, to a problem that's fairly common across the city.
Memorial Drive is a busy east-west thoroughfare that is not, typically, friendly to pedestrians.
That's been a terrible combination for families sending their kids to a nearby elementary school, with no easy path to get there.
It's hard to find a time of day when traffic is not racing back and forth along with Memorial, just west of the Sam Houston tollway. While traffic signs warn of a nearby school, it hardly seems like the right place for kids to be making their way to class.
"It's very hectic. A lot of cars are coming through, and they're not going the slowest," says District G Council Member Greg Travis, "What we're trying to do is make it safer for the children."
He's talking about a new stretch of sidewalk, about 200 hundred yards worth stretching east of Brittmore, six feet wide and protected from traffic, with a curb, that replaces a worn-out path that was there before. The whole thing cost about $50,000 dollars that came from Travis' city council discretionary budget. He says the city didn't do it because, apparently, the previous path was considered acceptable.
It was not, at all, acceptable to Nicole Hobson as she watched her kids make their way to, and from, school.
"They would look at traffic in the morning and stare it down," she says, "When you've got little kids, it was a horrible feeling."
Her complaints got to Travis, who says he did not hesitate to get the project going. Now, travel to and from class is much more easygoing and protected. "It makes it so much safer for our children. We're so thankful and appreciative of that," says Hobson.
After school, on a recent Friday, parents, and kids gathered to say "thanks" for getting the problem solved. The city, though, has lots of examples where pedestrians and traffic are forced to mix.
Travis says the city needs to do a better job of listening to complaints and fixing problems.
"People need this and, yet, we're finding a hard time coming up with the money for that?," he asks, It's priorities. If we prioritize money right, we have the money to do what we need to do."