WINDSOR HEIGHTS, Iowa — Sidewalks are coming to residential neighborhoods in Windsor Heights whether residents there like it or not.
The vote to make it official came Monday night with the council giving the green light. The mayor says the community can afford it and that the city will only do what is necessary while remaining fiscally responsible.
It was a tense atmosphere at the standing room only City Council meeting.
“Believe it or not, even though we all are not here, because we have obligations that keep us from being here like our children, that you know go to Cowles, we are supportive of you,” said Kathryn Dickel. “We are behind you and we are the majority.”
It was made clear that sidewalk supporters were not welcome.
“I`ve lived there for 30 odd years, Windsor Heights has always been known for being kind of different, and let`s keep it that way,” said Janice Minarsich. “Those that don`t agree with it, want sidewalks, let them move back to Des Moines or West Des Moines where they belong because Windsor Heights is unique.”
One of the Windsor Heights residents that support sidewalks is the founder and owner of RAYGUN, the printing, design and clothing company in Des Moines’s East Village.
“The reason why I started this petition is that my three sons attend Cowles Montessori. My wife and kids would walk to that school. When my wife would walk in the street, with traffic going both ways and cars parked with her stroller while our two toddlers walk, you are overcome with the lunacy of not having a sidewalk to the school,” said Mike Draper.
Draper’s pro-sidewalk petition has over 300 signatures.
But at Monday’s City Council meeting an anti-sidewalk petition was presented to the council with 889 signatures.
The petition gathered in the last two weeks comes in conjunction with hundreds of anti-sidewalk lawn signs that have been put up in recent days seemingly everywhere along the streets near Cowles Montessori School.
The mayor says now the lengthy process of deciding which streets to put the sidewalks on will begin.