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South La Crosse residents urge city committee to drop plans for sidewalks near their homes



Not every residential area of La Crosse needs sidewalks on every block. That’s the attitude of people living on the far south side, near Hintgen Elementary School, who have urged the city not to put sidewalks near their homes.

By a 4-2 vote Thursday evening, the city’s Finance and Personnel Committee called for a temporary hold on sidewalk installation on 27th, 28th and 29th streets — north of Hintgen and east of Losey Boulevard.

Several residents there spoke to the committee and were split on the project. One resident, however, told the panel that she surveyed neighbors and found about 90 percent of them were opposed to having sidewalks where none have traditionally been.

Another opponent of the sidewalk plan, Rick Check, said he knows of only two accidents in that area over the past 40 years. He also said the possible closing of Hintgen might reduce the need for sidewalks.

“If you talk to people, they have to close that school because there’s no kids in the neighborhood any more,” Check said. “It’s not like it was 20 years ago. The kids just aren’t there.”

Committee chair Doug Happel said the council needs to listen to the neighbors.

‘That doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, to knock down, I believe it’s eight trees, we’d have to knock down,” Happel said. “We’d have to tear up some grass, we’d have to lay some concrete. Somehow, that doesn’t seem to fit the climate version,” referring to concerns about climate change and green space.

The full city council may vote on the issue at its monthly meeting this upcoming Thursday.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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