A Winters Express opinion column
As great as Winters is, and no matter how many good things are said about our town, there is something that has bothered me like a pebble in my shoe since moving here 33 years ago. There is no way to easily, or safely, walk the length of Grant Avenue from Morgan Street to the freeway overpass and beyond to Yolo Housing.
Granted there are segments of sidewalk as a result of new development, but nothing continuous and I assume it will take another 30 years until there is enough new development to finance a continues pedestrian walkway the full distance
Furthermore, there is no way to safely cross Grant Avenue on foot near Lorenzo Market where it is needed the most. I have witnessed pedestrians trapped in the center of that section of road by passing motorists. It is even more harrowing after dark.
There is a contingent of people who routinely travel the aforementioned section of Grant Avenue on foot. Some are elderly and some walk from Yolo housing pushing a baby carriage or shopping cart. Surely this situation has been discussed in various councils over the years and there must be very good reasons why nothing has been done to alleviate the problem.
I have talked this over with Sophie and we have come up with a few solutions. The first issue is funding and that can be made available from the $22 billion to be allocated for bridge construction and improvement throughout the United States. The overpass on Interstate 505 is a bridge. We simply apply for a pedestrian ramp to the overpass bridge from Yolo Housing and from Morgan Street. This is small change in the overall national picture. That solves the continuous walkway issue.
As for crossing Grant Avenue near Lorenzo’s Market and the businesses on the other side of the road, I suggest a pedestrian bridge that is funded from the same national bridge funding pot.
There, problems solved. I get that pebble out of my shoe and Winters is the undisputed best city in America.
Gramps is a little bridge-happy. While on walks, Gramps and I often cross Railroad Avenue at the controlled pedestrian crossing near Carrion Circle. Gramps pushes a button and a flashing lights alert drivers to stop. Let’s get practical. Have someone paint a crosswalk and someone else put in a set of those flashing lights at Grant and Morgan. No need to go federal.