CLEAR LAKE SHORES

Adriana Richey runs every morning at 5 a.m. around Clear Lake Shores. She always takes a flashlight with her and watches for cars, even though the drivers are respectful, she said. She moved to the waterfront city about eight months ago from The Woodlands.

“We had lots of sidewalks and paths and places to run in The Woodlands,” Richey said. “We don’t have that here.”

Many Clear Lake Shores city officials say they want more places for runners, pedestrians, dog walkers, bicyclists and golf cart drivers to safely get from their homes to nearby parks, restaurants and stores.

To that end, the Clear Lake Shores Economic Development Corp. is paying $90,000 to consulting firm The Goodman Corp. for advice in applying for grants for roads, sidewalks and shared pathways, officials said.

The Goodman Corp. has conducted similar consultant work for other area cities, such as identifying grants for parking garages and developing plans for transit systems.

“We have such a small city staff,” Ronnie Richards, president of the city’s Economic Development Corp., said. “We decided what we wanted to pursue to make it easier to get around and safer.”

Clear Lake Shores doesn’t have a grant writer or other staff members who can devote time to researching and writing the appropriate grants, he said.

One of the targeted projects city officials want is to improve the city’s main bridge on Clear Lake Road.

“We have been looking at ways to fund a pedestrian bridge across the main bridge on Clear Lake Road ever since I have been on city council,” Mayor pro tem Amanda Fenwick said. She became a council member in 2012.

“It is a concern for us because we are such a small community and we want our people to be able to get to the Town Center by walking or biking, and the way it is right now is a bit treacherous with it being a two-way road,” Fenwick said.

When the city’s Economic Development Corp. presented the Goodman Corp. proposal, the city council wanted the bridge to be a high priority for the consulting firm to consider, Fenwick said.

The main bridge is dangerous on foot or on bicycle, Richards said.

“Possibly, we could have a separate bridge for pedestrians and possibly bicycles,” Richards said.

Another desire is to have more sidewalks and shared pathways throughout the city.

“All sidewalks on FM 2094 from Kemah to League City are either torn up or nonconforming or nonexistent,” Richards said.

City officials also are interested in connecting a shared-use path to Watergate Marina, 1500 Marina Bay Drive, to the rest of Clear Lake Shores.

Many residents ride golf carts around the small city, and any shared-use path would have to consider that reality, Richards said.

“That is part of Clear Lake Shores, and we want our people to be able to get to Watergate to the restaurants and businesses there,” Fenwick said.

Residents also are interested in creating a walking path around the city, Fenwick said.

The city recently completed a sidewalk from Clear Lake Road to Jarboe Bayou Park where the community pool is on Birch Road,

“We want to explore an option for a sidewalk around the island because we do have so many residents who walk around the island,” Fenwick said.

Shared pathways that are safe and accessible add to the quality of life in Clear Lake Shores, she said.

“These pathways encourage people to get and be outdoors, visit our local businesses, and helps to further connect our people to our city,” Fenwick said.

Valerie Wells: 409-683-5246; valerie.wells@galvnews.com

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