A Winters Express opinion column
Having received a Taco Bell gift card for Christmas I decided to head up the road and order a couple of tacos and a bean burrito. As I have mentioned the lack of a continuous sidewalk along the three quarter miles from Walnut Avenue to Interstate 505 I felt it was my duty to experience going on foot. It’s always nice to have a companion when walking so I invited Teri to go along with me. Teri is a short-haired German pointer that feels it’s her duty to have a constant tug-of-war while on a leash.
Following protocol to walk against traffic, we stayed on the north side of Grant Avenue. After passing Lorenzo’s Town and Country Market there is nothing but sloping graveled terrain to walk on until you reach the new sidewalk at the Chevron station. I felt unsafe walking on the road asphalt, as Teri darts left and right during her tug of war. We were both tuckered out by the time we reached our destination.
We learned that inside dining at Taco Bell is closed so we stood behind the fifth car in line at the drive through. Teri got a few bites of chicken as a reward for her tow service.
Following protocol, we returned on the south side of Grant Avenue which is somewhat easier as there is a sidewalk at the PG&E training center and hard surfaces extend to the intersection of Main and East Grant. From Main to Morgan the roadside terrain that borders a large field is too steep to walk on and it is necessary to walk on the road asphalt until you reach Morgan Street.
While passing Round Table Pizza I remembered that I was supposed to pick up Greek olives at Lorenzo’s Market for a Nicoise Salad but the store is on the North side of Grant. How do you get across Grant Avenue on foot? The road is four lanes wide at that location. An aging gent pushing a grocery cart showed me how he does it. He simply pointed his cart south and commenced walking and the cars stopped. He didn’t miss a step. Even Teri wasn’t that brave and we walked to the roundabout to cross and retraced our steps back to the market.
Why take all this valuable newspaper space and bore you with this sorry tale? It’s a build up to suggesting a way to complete a safe walkway the length of East Grant Avenue. Despite the claim of a city official that a sidewalk cannot be built because the road is a state highway and everything has to be state approved and meet state specifications and so on, there is a simple low cost solution. Install a temporary decomposed granite walk, similar to those in Walnut Park, on the privately owned field on the South side of Grant from Main to Morgan. That distance is approximately equal to three city blocks in length. A farmer with a common utility tractor could do it in a couple of days.
I guess Gramps got a little worked up about no walkway on East Grant when a high school teacher told him that some students who live in Yolo Housing miss the opportunity for after school tutoring because there is no safe way to walk home and they have to catch the school bus. Gramps remembers walking a mile to Richmond High every day, but that was on safe city sidewalks. Gramps, are you sure it was a mile? I know that the fish you catch get longer with every telling.