|Photo Purple Walrus Press.|
By Bob Resch. Purple Walrus Press.
I must admit to having a sweet tooth. I'm a coffee and donut guy.
I've tried to break the habit but have been a miserable failure!! I
assuage my guilt of consuming calories with exercise...especially
walking. Dom's Donuts on Washtenaw Avenue is a favorite destination
for my craving.
Numerous times my journey through Normal Park takes me to Cross Street
then Anna Street. As I prepare to make a left hand turn at Washtenaw
Avenue, I am met with, not a sidewalk, BUT A 75 FOOT DIRT PATH NOT
MORE THAN TWO FEET WIDE AND INCHES FROM A BUSTLING WASHTENAW AVENUE!
Next to this dirt path is a short retaining wall that's just about to
topple from the weight of the hillside. My instincts tell me: THIS IS
AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN!!
It's risky business if a pedestrian or bike rider doesn't time the
break in the eastbound traffic from the light at Mansfield. If you
do, this allows you to traverse the 75 feet with relative
ease.....providing you're a normal healthy person. If you don't time
the break in traffic, you're subject to traffic whizzing by at close
to 50mph. The wind whip from an AATA bus is a little disconcerting
especially since it's only about 3 feet from the curb. Needless to
say this is NOT handicap accessible.
Recently, I was standing at the corner of Dom's parking lot surveying
the various elements to this story when a gentleman named Rodney, who
lives a block away, came out of Dom's with, you guessed it, a coffee
and a bag of donuts. I introduced myself, and asked him if the
'missing sidewalk' bothered him. Rodney, who's lived here 33 years,
proceeded to tell me, very pointedly, that if he could, he would get a
couple of his friends and dig out the retaining wall and at least
widen the path. WOW!! I told him I was trying to find a solution
which brought a smile to his face.
My next move was to contact City Council member Beth Bashert who
informed me that Washtenaw Avenue is not City property, it is owned by
MDOT, so the City needs to co-ordinate with them, and then, the
engineering people take it from there. Money has to be allocated in
the budget as well. There are also questions concerning grade and
easement ( the use of someone's land for a specific purpose). She
calls her explanation " a short version of the steps to greatness" and
she thanked me for bringing this issue to her attention.
I've heard Beth Bashert is a diligent, hardworking, results oriented
person and I believe that with her involvement, this fix will happen
sooner than later.
I can only imagine how big a smile the completed project will bring to
Rodney's face and many other Ypsilantians!