Students walked, chanted, and cheered for safety during the sidewalk rally held in October. The event called attention to the need for sidewalks along Chase Parkway to make a safer pathway for pedestrians crossing the street and reaching the bus stop and our campus.
Dozens of students and faculty joined the march from the east to west entrance of the college in an effort to raise awareness of this specific need in conjunction with national Walk or Bike to School Day. Police cars and safety officials blocked off half of the road as the march moved out in the street with the crowd repeating the chant: “What do we need? Sidewalks. When do we need them? Now.”
SGA president Iralis De Jesus spoke on the importance of this action with a personal testimony. “Sometimes when we’re walking the cars are driving so fast we can feel the wind in our hair. That’s how close the cars are to us,” she said. She also noted that, “We have students on campus who are handicapped and I’ve seen some of them cross the street and I get nervous.”
The effort to create a sidewalk along the road is already underway as city officials make arrangements for contracting and construction. “Our biggest question right now is: are we going to have our city employees do it or are we going to contract it out?,” Mayor O’Leary stated. The sidewalks will cost about $250,000. The city is expected to put up half of the money and NVCC will put up the rest.
The construction of the sidewalk will be part of the campus improvement plan, which will also include bus stop covers to be put on soon. The mayor expects the project to be complete by the end of winter.
Ultimately, since the college should be a safe place for students, the sidewalks will be a way to make it safer.