Monday, April 14, 2008

Sidewalk or dirt path?

This photo is looking east along Washington Street, from Parkview Avenue (20xx block of East Washington). Whenever it rains or snows water pools on the sidewalk along with dirt from the eroding hill from the vacant lot. The storm water does not drain properly along this portion of Washington Street, resulting in the right westbound lane being underwater and the tires of passing vehicles shoot heavy streams of water onto the sidewalk and the hill. Pedestrians can typically be observed walking up the hill and through the front yard of the vacant lot at the corner as well as the occupied dwelling to the east to avoid the muddy mess. Could the City not address this issue? I'm aware that the City has a storm sewer upgrade planned nearby on Ohio Street. I hope that the upgrade is intended to correct this problem. How would a person in a wheelchair pass this area? I don't think it would be unrealistic to think that people of limited mobility might be likely to reside in this neighborhood. This is the type of quality of life issue that appears to be routinely ignored in Indianapolis.

While a fair amount of attention has been recently placed on the City's proposed zoning ordinance revisions, which would require sidewalks to be built by developers adjacent to most new development (which I strongly support), there isn't much hope for the long-term maintenance of those sidewalks, when the City can't/won't fulfill its obligation to maintain its current pedestrian infrastructure. I don't doubt that someone with the responsibility to address this issue could come up with 101 excuses as to why they are powerless to solve such a problem. Instead, they should be finding 101 similar problems to fix immediately. It wouldn't take long to put together such a list. Indianapolis has a long, long, long way to go to become a world-class city.