Addition of Sidewalks in Gretna Not Sitting Well With Everyone

GRETNA, VA - The Town of Gretna has been making a number of improvements, following a section of its downtown area being named a state historic landmark.

Officials have been hoping to add sidewalks in residential areas in order to make things safer for those who walk in the area.

Most of the people we talked to say they're happy to finally see sidewalks, but some say they aren't crazy about damage to their front yards as a result.

Currently, the sidewalks in Gretna end at the edge of the former town boundaries, leaving a dangerous situation for pedestrians.

"If you're walking along the sidewalk, you come to a point where it just stops, so either you have to go out in the street or you have to turn around and go back," said Design Engineer Chris Adcock .

The town received federal grant money through VDOT to add 1400 square feet of sidewalk in a multi-phase project. They hope to create a loop that circles the whole town for pedestrians and tourists to enjoy.

Town Manager David Lilly says most residents are very excited to see the new walkways.

"They love it. It's very beautiful. It's very pleasing to everyone," Lilly said.

Some aren't so happy about the sidewalks, though, including Charlie Haley. "As you can see, my yard, I take care of it and don't want it torn up," he explained.

Haley lives on Vaden Drive and has been very vocal in his opposition to the sidewalk. He says it's forced him to rewire an electric fence for his dogs and caused a lot of headache in re-landscaping his front yard.

"I think if the town has the money to spend on this, they can spend it on something else," Haley said.

Lilly says making the area safer for pedestrians is very important. If homeowners would be willing to compromise, he says the outcome will be a great addition to the town.

"It's all about being a progressive community. It's just a win-win for everybody," Lilly said.

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