Ladue citizens band together to demand sidewalks; turn NIMBY into IMBY

Ladue-Frontenac Patch is covering the story of a group of citizens in Ladue who have banded together to demand that sidewalks be added to their city streets--and are getting some real results from the city:

There’s an old anachronism in government called NIMBY: Not in my back yard. If a city wants to widen a road, add stop signs, rezone property from residential to commercial, city officials can expect visits at their regular meetings from the neighbors. Sometimes, these crowds become large, and in some cases raucous. Opposition can results in strong push back.

Parents want safe routes for their children to walk to school in Ladue
Parents want safe routes for their children to walk to school in Ladue

In Ladue, its more like IMBY. Beth Deutsch and a band of residents along McKnight Road joined forces in Novermber to create an ad hoc committee Residents for Sidewalks.

Walking door to door, Deutsch and her group, armed with clipboards registered 673 homeowners in 14 days, urging the the Ladue City Council to bring safe sidewalks to the folks who live on Dromera Lane, Greenbriar Drive, McKnight Lane and a host of other streets.

The quick action of these citizens caught the attention of Mayor Anthony Bommarito and his council members. Some city officials reside on their streets.

One community member pointed out the most powerful voice in Ladue belongs to the parents of elementary school children. As this individual surmised, once children get to middle and high school, their parents tend to branch off into other interests.

Read the rest of the story on the Patch web site.

This is a great example showing how community advocacy by ordinary citizens can make a huge difference in a city.  Click here to find our list of resources for citizen advocates--any citizen can get together with a few neighbors and make a real difference!