SAQ: Why doesn't my neighborhood have sidewalks?

SAN ANTONIO – In a recent SAQ, a woman living in a neighborhood off Bandera Road, between Callaghan and Broadview, asked why there are no sidewalks in the area and if the city had plans to add them. 

We took the question to the District 7 City Councilwoman Ana Sandoval. The short answer is no, there are no plans to add sidewalks. But, she said, there's a reason why they aren't there in the first place. 

The neighborhood in question is the Woodlawn Hills and Ingram Hills area, which Sandoval estimates was built in the 1950s and '60s. That pre-dates when the city mandated developers include sidewalks. The city has catching up to do, Sandoval believes, but there is a price tag. 

"There is about almost 2,000 of sides of streets without sidewalks in San Antonio. So, if we had the money to do it, to put sidewalks everywhere, it would take us about nearly eight hundred million dollars to do that."

Because of that cost, infrastructure additions are sorted by priority. 

Where we think we're going to get the biggest bang for our buck -- that's where we prioritize sidewalks," she said. "Where it's very close to a school or in front of a school, that's absolutely high priority. If it's near a high school or near a park where a lot of people are going to be walking that's higher priority, too." 

Sandoval said that anyone who wants to see infrastructure or safety additions to their neighborhood should call 311. That call is important, she said, because it logs how often people call and make requests. Those logs, in turn, help council members prioritize projects in their districts.