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Spencer residents revel in newly added walkways

SPENCER ó Carol Corriher said she’s not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the way she assumed the nickname, “The Sidewalk Lady.”
“I don’t know where this passion began,” she told a group gathered in front of her house on North Salisbury Avenue Thursday afternoon.
Corriher, the driving force behind the move to build more sidewalks around town, celebrated construction of a new walkway in front of her house with a party.
Festivities included cake and ice cream and a ribbon cutting. Mayor Jody Everhart, Town Manager Larry Smith and aldermen Nick Bishop, David Smith and C.E. Spear were on hand for the grand event.
Corriher, an avid walker, said she began pushing for more sidewalks when she counted the number of times she had to cross back and forth across busy Salisbury Avenue during her daily strolls.
“I’d go for walks and the sidewalk would just end,” she said. “It caused safety issues.”
And so, Corriher pestered town leaders about the matter. Last fall she organized the entire student body of North Rowan Elementary into a Walk to School Day to draw attention to the shortage of sidewalks.
On Thursday, Larry Smith, the town manager, said money to fund the new sidewalks came through discretionary monies provided by the N.C. Department of Transportation. The town didn’t have to come up with any of the money to pay for the new sidewalks.
While a few blocks remain to be completed, plans are for the sidewalk to eventually stretch along the west side of Salisbury Avenue from downtown to Sowers Ferry Road. It’s a distance of close to a mile.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to get the citizens to walk the blocks instead of riding the blocks,” said Everhart, the town’s mayor.
Bishop, one of the aldermen in attendance at Thursday’s get-together, gave Corriher a hug following the ribbon cutting.
“Congratulations,” he told her, “you got it done. Persistence pays off.”
“Sometimes, it pays to nag,” Corriher agreed.

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