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Residents in Lynn Garden community concerned about lack of sidewalks

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Some residents in the Lynn Garden area of Kingsport are concerned about the lack of sidewalks. People tells us a big concern is kids walking to local schools on the roads.

"I'm surprised nobody's got hit yet, I really am," said concerned resident, Lavonda Storie.

Lavonda Storie walks her 10-year-old daughter to school every morning. Her daughter's in the 4th grade, and so the school allows her to walk by herself, but Storie said she wouldn't risk it.

"You know there's no sidewalk, there's no nothing," said Storie. "So she's just nervous all the time."

Storie's not the only one with concerns many residents we spoke with in Lynn Garden said they're worried about the lack of sidewalks, especially with busy roads and schools nearby.

"You have to walk up and down the road and the cars are coming," said Brently Castle. "I mean it's bad."

Police said they haven't had a child hit while walking to school in the area, but residents said it's also a problem at night.

"Cars who haven't got their lights on bright and they come up on you," said Castle. "I've had to jump in the grass a few times."

It's not the only area of Kingsport with this issue.

Michael Thompson evaluates sidewalk projects for the Kingsport public works department. Thompson said over time the city annexed into Sullivan County, and the county had a lot less sidewalks in place. He said it can really difficult to put sidewalks in where there may not be any space.

"One side of the road the typography goes up, the other side goes down," said Thompson. "So you're going to be doing a lot of grate work or a lot of retaining walls just to fit a sidewalk in there."

Thompson said the city has recently put sidewalks on most of the highly trafficked roads and one's closest to local schools. He encourages people to reach out who have concerns so the City can evaluate the need.

"We try to update our lists at least every other year, if not every year depending on funding," said Thompson. "Just prioritize where we're going to spend what sidewalk money we get."

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