Charles Brake wanted to make sure his brick mailbox would be OK. Dunwoody city officials planned to build a sidewalk in front of his house and he wanted to make sure the construction wouldn’t require getting rid of his mailbox.

“I’ve got a big mailbox. I’m hoping they don’t tear it down,” he said as he found his home on a large aerial photograph of Mount Vernon Way on which city officials had marked the location of the planned sidewalk. “They said they don’t think they will.”

Brake was among several dozen homeowners who attended a public meeting Sept. 12 to check out the city’s proposals for new sidewalks on Mount Vernon Way, Hensley Drive and Peachford Road.

The city plans to build the sidewalks in 2014, Public Works Director Michael Smith said. The city estimates the projects will cost about $350,000.

Shirrae Fazio and Ann McLaughlin welcomed news that a sidewalk would soon be installed along Hensley Drive. Children regularly walk the street to get to Vanderlyn Elementary School, they said. “There’s quite a group of us that walk to school,” said Fazio,

Charles Brake points out his home on the city of Dunwoody’s sidewalk projects map during a public meeting Sept. 12 to review proposed new projects. A new sidewalk is planned for his street, Mount Vernon Way.
Shirrae Fazio, left, Keith Fiefer, center, and Ann McLaughlin, right, review photos showing the locatin of a proposed new sidewalk on Hensley Drive in their neighborhood. They looked over the photos during a public meeitng Sept. 12 at which Dunwoody city officials presented the paths of proposed new sidewalks. Photo by Joe Earle.

who lives on nearby Stratham Drive.

The two women said they had circulated petitions in the neighborhood asking to city to build sidewalks in the area so walking children wouldn’t have to share pavement with cars headed to the school.  “This will make things safer,” Fazio said. “We are very excited to see it come in.”

They reviewed an aerial photo demonstrating the proposed sidewalk’s location with a neighbor, Keith Kiefer, who lives on Hensley. He said he felt less enthusiastic about the plan then they did, but he had no objections to the sidewalk.  “It doesn’t really matter to me,” he said. “It’ll be in front of my property. I’m not in strong favor of it, but I’m not opposed to it either.”

Once Brake found that his mailbox seemed safe from demolition, he welcomed the sidewalks to Mount Vernon Way.

“I like the sidewalks. I sure do,” Brake said. “But I’ve had my brick mailbox about 40 years and I didn’t want to lose it.”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.