Champaign asking for pedestrian feedback

Champaign asking for pedestrian feedback

The City of Champaign is asking for your help to improve walking conditions around the community.

City planner Ben LeRoy said the Walk Champaign project is the latest plan to help pedestrians feel safer and have better access to places when walking around the city.

He said the first step of the project is to find out what citizens like and dislike about sidewalks, or in some areas a lack of a walking path, by going on walkabouts with project developers through city neighborhoods.

Leroy added that Walk Champaign will benefit everyone in the community, no matter how you get around.



LeRoy encouraged citizens to take an online survey about the city's current walking conditions so priorities and policies can start getting established.  He expected to have the first recommended project ready by next April.

For more information on Walk Champaign, click here.

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (1):Transportation

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ROB McCOLLEY wrote on July 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm
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1. overhanging limbs & branches

2. cars blocking sidewalk

3. mud/water retention depressions

4. violent/attacking animals (fenced or not)

5. poo

 

pattsi wrote on July 18, 2013 at 7:07 am

Adding to the above list:

Terrible condition of most sidewalk surfaces--dangerous, condusive to falling

Residential islands because of lack of any connectivity to enable walking to services, such as grocery stores, hardware, drug store, etc.

Lack of sufficient and in some areas no buffering between pedestrian and cars/street--zero set backs do not help this situation--east University Ave, corner of Main and Church, corner of State and Church recent examples

Lack of sufficient public works funds to maintain what presently exists let alone any new sidewalk construction

Outdoor eating spaces are an added attraction in downtown Champaign, but the use of the taxpayer subsidized sidewalks need to be available for the pedestrian This is not the case presently because the outdoor dining expands incrementally to take over the sidewalk and there does not appear to be an containment by the zoning administrator. If one is handicapped, right now one can basically walk along  Walnut and Main.

City has adopted the premise of complete streets though this is not being applied equitably--right now bicycles are given priority, such a removing parking making it even more difficult for handicap to park and walk to distinations.

acer217 wrote on July 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I agree with the list above.

Folks that park across the sidewalk are inconsiderate, especially on a soggy or icey day when I have to either walk into the street or through their muddy yard to get around. When my girlfriend broke her leg, it was even more a challenge for her to use the scootie to navigate off the concrete.

I've had dogs get loose and chase after me, but luckily never bit... just overly excited dogs. I love dogs, own two very friendly dogs and have had about 10 dogs in my life so far. There's no excuse for being unable to keep a dog in control. 

Sidewalks that get pushed up by tree roots, though I've noticed in my neighborhood the city uses some machine to grind down the uneven surface. That's really awesome of them to be that considerate. 

Hedges need to be trimmed back. Some folks think that their 8' hedges should be shared with pedestrians on the sidewalk, but there should be a limit to how far those can stick out. I've got a neighbor up the street that lets his grow halfway across the sidewalk. 

Sump pumps are also a problem in my neighborhood. A lot of split-level houses here and some folks have the sump-pumps empty right onto the sidewalk, which of course saturates the ground and causes the sidewalk to flood. 

And something has to be done about Prospect, between I-74 and University. I don't know what the problem is with the crosswalks, but folks are constantly jay-walking right into traffic. I've had to slam my brakes on more than once when someone pops out from in-front of a car that decided to stop in the middle of the road to let them get through. It's been getting worse lately... I guess folks see other people do it and they decide to do it. I saw very young children cross there about a month ago. 

I'm sure most of this stuff is either illegal or against code, so what I'd really like to see is some increase in active enforcement, instead of having to call into complain. I feel like a jerk every time I complain, though the city has been very nice with me in every occassion I've had to call about something. 

pattsi wrote on July 19, 2013 at 11:07 am

Thank you for adding sump pump discharge location to the list. It is against the law to have such discharge go across sidewalks and directly into the streets. There are a large number of these still in existence. This situation cause two dangerous situations--in the summer the water causes a slime to develop on the sidewalk surface. In the winter, the issue is the formation of a layer of ice. Both situations create dangerous walking surfaces. People also tend to put black extension hoses on down spouts. These cause similar problems.

There is a win-win solution. With the new storm water fee is an option for a credit against the monthly fee when there is a rain garden of certain dimensions on a property. It is easy to direct a downspout and/or sump pump discharge into the rain garden. Solve the problem, get credit, and create a very attractive feature.