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Landscaping That Narrowed Public Sidewalk Cut Back

October 8, 2020 Featured No Comments

In the nearly 16 years I’ve been blogging I’ve written a lot about sidewalks, and items that can block them. Examples include parked cars in driveways, dumpsters, cafe tables & chairs, business signs, etc. Today’s item narrowing a sidewalk is…was…landscaping.

I use 7th Street often when heading into downtown. For the nearly two years we’ve lived in the Columbus Square neighborhood I’ve been frustrated by one spot where shrubs had been allowed to grow over the public sidewalk for years.

June 11, 2019: my first photo months after moving. With the shrub and the light post the sidewalk gets unnecessarily narrowed. When meeting a person going the opposite direction someone has to stop to let the other pass.
July 3, 2020: more than a year later, though the same car is parked on 7th Street. I looked online for a way to contact the church other than by a voice call, no luck.
August 15, 2020: the next month, from the other side. Yes, same car. On the 29th I tweeted this photo to the Citizen’s Service Bureau (CSB) to complain.
August 30, 2020: I didn’t expect action by the next day, but I did take another photo.
October 1, 2020: The full width of the sidewalk!
October 1, 2020: you can see the discoloration of the sidewalk where the shrub covered it for so long.
October 2, 2020: it doesn’t look good, not sure if leaves will fill in.

You might be wondering why I didn’t just use the other side of 7th, west instead of east.  The answer is simple. Pedestrians can’t cross Cole Street from the west side of 7th Street. I suppose able-bodied pedestrians can do so even though there aren’t crosswalks or pedestrian signals. I, however, using a power wheelchair, can’t. Crossing Cole Street is dangerous enough in official crosswalks with a walk signal — motorists routinely fly through red lights.

But I could get to Cole then cross 7th Street, right?

Technically, yes. The crosswalk between the east and west sides of 7th on the north side of Cole Street is one of the roughest I’ve encountered in the city.  A second runner up is the east-west crosswalk at 9th Street on the south side of Cole Street. I have to avoid these to prevent my 12 year old wheelchair from getting shaken apart.

I tried contacting the church tenant, but what about the landlord. The owner is Northside Regeneration, AKA Paul McKee.

As indicated above, I turned to the city’s CSB. A month later they came through. It’s wonderful when a problem gets resolved, but there are too many to report them all.

— Steve Patterson



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