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Sidewalk Debate Continues Over Gathering Place

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It's called The Gathering Place, but at the moment, it's creating a falling out.

"To me it's just a no brainer," said Lori Long of The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges.

"It's just a common sense deal," said Steve Colburn of Maple Ridge neighborhood.

Those are two similar sentiments on the opposite sides of The Gathering Place sidewalk debate.

"We believe it's a major failure to not have sidewalk access to an attraction like this," said Long.

One one side, folks like Lori Long who's clients at The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges are lobbying for a sidewalk on the east side of Riverside that was in the initial plans.

"Sidewalks are huge, I can't, I'm not going to ride in my chair in the mud and dirt," said Emeka Nnaka.

On the other side...

"I haven't seen a safety expert yet come out independent and do an analysis," said Steve Colburn.

Neighborhood residents like Steve Colburn and Stacy Clark.

"One of the biggest arguments is the safety issue, if you'll notice if you put the sidewalk in you have to go through six intersections to get across it," said Clark.

There's also the worry of the neighborhood being constantly congested.

"It's gonna make a lot of traffic in here," said Colburn.

"I understand what they're saying and I think that the other side to the discussion is that the park is going in, the park is going to be there," said Patty Southmayd.

The gathering place. Currently Gathering strong opinions.

"It makes no sense," said Colburn.

"It's a travesty when you think about it," said Nnaka.

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