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Fight over sidewalk turns into one-woman political protest

Fight over sidewalk turns into one-woman political protest

SAN ANTONIO - As a decades-long fight for a sidewalk turns into a one-woman political protest, the Trouble Shooters are getting answers.

Most elections, neighbors say a west side corner is filled with campaign signs. Not this time. It's part of fight over something you won't find on the ballot right now: city sidewalks.

Buena Vista Street, a major thoroughfare, has sidewalks. But turn the corner onto Hamilton and you'll see why a family is worried.

"We've been here since 1974," says homeowner Yolanda Carrera. "We seriously need a sidewalk. My main concern is the families that go through this street, could get hurt, wind up dead."

She says because it's such a busy intersection, it's a prime spot for politicians to put their campaign signs.

"They come over and they knock on my door and say, 'Hi, my name is so-and-so. Can we put a sign up?'" Carrera says. "I go, 'Yes, you can put a sign up. But can you work with me and put a sidewalk here?'"

She says politicians come and politicians go, but there's still no sidewalk. Until Hamilton gets one, she's taking a political stand.

"No more signs. No. No more signs," Carrera says.

The Trouble Shooters took the problem to the area's councilwoman.

"Of course, there's lots of bus stops there," says District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales. "It has been an area that has definitely been brought to my attention."

She promises there's bond money to put sidewalks on a four-block stretch of Hamilton right along Carrera's home.

Looking citywide, the Trouble Shooters learned the Infrastructure Management Program will soon invest $9 million to build more than 19 miles of new sidewalks across the city. Click here for the list. If your area is not on that list, the best first step is to call your councilperson.

"We're looking forward to filling the sidewalk gaps in as people let us know where there's need," Councilwoman Gonzales says.

Until then, Carrera will keep saying no to campaign signs.

"Not until I see that progress is being done, the sidewalks are done, that I can see the progress going on - then they can put a sign," she says.

By EMILY BAUCUM

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