February 2010
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Sidewalks, snow, and people with disabilities

WMBD-TV channel 31 is reporting that disabled residents are having a hard time getting around the city because sidewalks are not cleared of snow. Last month, readers of the Peoria Chronicle debated whether or not residents and businesses should be required to shovel snow off the sidewalk in front of their property. Here’s the answer WMBD heard as a result of their investigation:

[JoAnne] Rose says “I’m in constant fear of getting stuck, and not able to get out, then what do I do.” …She’s now challenging residents put themselves in her shoes– “Tie themselves into a wheel chair where they can’t move their limbs and try to get around.”

The issue regarding pedestrian mobility in Peoria goes beyond removing snow from the sidewalks a few times in the winter. It also involves having sidewalks in the first place, and then keeping them in good repair. Unfortunately, these are the two things the city doesn’t do very well.

There needs to be a comprehensive transportation plan for the city that addresses not just automobile traffic, but all modes of transportation. We need a strategic plan that sets the vision for mobility within the city and has an action plan for reaching that vision over a number of years. It will take a long time to implement because of the cost involved, but nothing will ever change if we aren’t intentional about planning to make the city more accessible. I’m not talking about merely meeting ADA requirements, but actually making the city’s transportation network/infrastructure multi-modal.

Perhaps the Traffic Commission could add that to their work plan, since they don’t appear to have anything else on their agenda.

11 comments to Sidewalks, snow, and people with disabilities

  • The Mouse

    it won’t take years, more like decades. For the last 65 years this city was built for automobiles, period. You want to change 6 1/2 decades of planning and development. Oh, and by all means let’s go ahead a tear up the Kellar Branch, the one in-town rail line that could be developed into a non-street light rail line. The people who run this town are brain dead, as the ad on the radio says, “good luck getting around central Illinois without driving privileges”.

  • Martin Palmer

    “There needs to be a comprehensive transportation plan for the city ”
    There probably is a plan, but is under years of dust allong with all the other plans done and long forgotten. Ren-Park, HOP,on and on….

  • I drove through the Uplands yesterday and noticed how many sidewalks were cleared. Along University from Columbia Terr up to Main, that stretch where that young man was killed, very little of the sidewalks were cleared. In front of Avanti’s and around the church and maybe 1 house, the rest was a foot path. Then I took a look at other streets and while I found some houses with cleared walks door to door, many still were not touched. Of course this is probably the case in any neighborhood. Good luck getting this city to pass a law and good luck getting this city to enforce it. This will all be history come those hot days of June, July, and August.

  • Sterling

    First and foremost, I am a proponent for leaving the Kellar Branch in place, but its uses as a light rail line are unrealistic. The economy of scale required for minimum bus service is around 7 dwelling units per acre or 16 residents per acre. That’s for bus service… the threshold for light rail is obviously much higher. There may be minimal bus service density like that near the Heights, but along the rest of the line and out in Dunlap would be a bit of a crapshoot. The Kellar Branch would be best served as a freight rail line serving Pioneer Park and the industries on the riverfront, or preserved as a possible connection for a Chicago-Peoria regional rail line instead of operating on the riverside railroad.

    That being said, I fully agree with CJ that there needs to be a Complete Streets plan created for Peoria that accomodates for all modes of transportation — cars, trucks, buses, cyclists, and pedestrians. CityLink needs to be closely related to all this, as bus services increases the viability of walking and biking to destinations city (and region)-wide.

  • Kelly

    Oh CJ you are always so “There needs to be a comprehensive this….” or “We need a strategic that…”. Are you on local television yet?

  • kohlrabi

    Is CJ on local televison yet? Yes, on keyboard most Sundays at 9AM, chennel 25.

  • Chase Ingersoll


    What city can afford to build or maintain that sort of infrastructure at current wage rates and overhead levels?

    The supply of labor is increasing due to unemployment and due to demographics is going to increase. We don’t have real wage rates any more than NY City has real rental rates.

  • Stephen Scanlan-Yerly

    Lets get some consultants on the phone and get this plan in action so we can have a layout by winter 2011 and have it half done but totally forgotten by 2050.

  • C.J.: been since Feb.13 since you had a new post up, you alright?

  • Thanks, wacko. Yeah, I’m fine. I was traveling all day Sunday, then I spent Monday and Tuesday giving more attention to my family. I couldn’t attend the council meeting last night due to scheduling conflicts. It just hasn’t worked out the last few days to post anything.