A city project that would add sidewalks to the Washington Park neighborhood in New Bern is causing controversy among neighbors.
The project would add sidewalks to portions of Hazel Avenue, Washington Street and Clark Avenue. The propose sidewalks will be located within the city-owned right-of-way at a cost of $60,000.
The neighborhood was built around 50 years ago and has never had sidewalks, according to Benjamin Godette, a long-time resident of the neighborhood.
“We don’t see [the reason] after living here for so long, to now have sidewalks,” Godette said. “I think it's wasted [money] no matter what because there's no demonstrated need for it. No one walks out here.”
Other residents disagree.
“I’m not against the sidewalk,” Jacqueline Hill said. “I wish they would put it up there for the safety of other kids and the safety of my kids.”
Hill also said the neighborhood is located near a school.
“I feel like if they had a sidewalk for kids to walk or ride their bike on then it would prevent an accident from happening,” Hill said.
The sidewalks will be installed on only one side of the road. The money for the project will come out of the city’s general fund, according to Bernard White, New Bern city alderman.
Construction on the project is expected to begin April 15th.