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Family asks ABC15 for help getting sidewalk to Gilbert elementary school

Posted: 5:00 AM, Aug 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-01 09:40:57-04
KNXV Operation Safe Roads Riggs Elementary Sidewalk

GILBERT, AZ — Parents, and some kids, are excited about going back to school. But no parent should have to worry about their children going back safely.

One East Valley family reached out to our Operation Safe Roads team asking for help in getting a sidewalk installed along their route to a Gilbert elementary school.

Curtis Gorshe and his wife, Adrienne, said they sent this letter below to the homeowner's association and the Town of Gilbert back in March. But, the family heard nothing. They hoped that ABC15 could step in and make a safer walk.

"I would like to request that a sidewalk be placed from the corner of E. Arianna Ave and South Seville Blvd connecting to Riggs Elementary in the Seville neighborhood of Gilbert. My wife had been walking our kindergartener and preschooler to Riggs from our Santana neighborhood for during the past school year. She has told me how dangerous it is because she has to walk/push the stroller in the bike lane because there is no sidewalk on our side of the road and it is nearly impossible to cross the street with the school traffic. The rocks along the side of the road are too deep to push a stroller or even ride a bike through. A lot of times the cars are also in the bike lane trying to create room in the road for other cars to pass. This creates an even more dangerous situation. I have also walked our children to school several times this past year and have seen kids almost hit by cars while riding bikes to school. The traffic is really bad and the people whip their cars through our neighborhood without so much as looking. I believe it would be very beneficial to have a sidewalk placed in this area."

"You just don't know what's coming up behind you or who is paying attention," Gorshe said. "You just don't know what's coming."

The Gorshes also showed ABC15 how the other side of the street has as a sidewalk, but it's on the wrong side of the street from the school.

"There is some concern with having to do this for another year and... with the unknown," Curtis Gorshe said.

So, ABC15 took action and contacted both the HOA and the town again. Within 48 hours, we had responses from both organizations.

The HOA said it did respond via email to Mr. Gorshe and recommended he contact the town.

Here is a message from the Board of Directors spokesperson Nancy Wojtas and their full response to ABC15:

Upon hearing from Mr. Gorshe, the Association investigated his concerns and determined that the sidewalks at issue are dedicated to and maintained by the Town of Gilbert. I responded to his email and recommended that he contact the Town of Gilbert Streets and Sidewalks as they own the streets and public sidewalks within Seville. I also provided the contact phone number - 480.503.6400.
The Association fully supports Mr. Gorshe in this matter.

Jennifer Harrison, a Gilbert spokesperson, also responded to ABC15, stating that a town engineer was sent to complete a site visit. After that assessment, officials determined that a sidewalk "can be installed in that location as well as a couple other locations in the neighborhood to provide better access along Seville Boulevard to the school. Next steps are to contact the school and the HOA to make sure there are not any concerns or conflicts with completing this work," the town said. "Our team is working on this and will be reaching out to the appropriate people to see what else needs to be done to complete this work."

Do you have a road issue you want Operation Safe Roads to take action now?

You can call our hotline at (833) AZROADS or email roads@abc15.com.