Streetscape needed to make downtown Danville safer

Published 5:44 pm Thursday, November 14, 2019

It’s no secret that downtown Danville has a history of chronic safety issues. The sidewalks are deteriorating, we have inconsistent lighting that either doesn’t work or blows bulbs erratically.    Over the years, there have been several deaths and even more injuries from pedestrians who attempt to cross, only to be struck by a vehicle. Not to mention the numerous falls and injuries on the sidewalks. One accident is one too many.

The City of Danville has applied over and over again for streetscape funds to improve the downtown pedestrian pathways between Fourth and Second Streets only to have these requests fall largely upon deaf ears. Streetscape grants would fix our sidewalks and lighting.  They would also install “bump-outs” at the corners, which shorten the exposure time that the pedestrian is actually in the intersection. Bump-outs also change the radius that the driver must make, thus creating a more attentive turn.

It’s time for the Dept. of Transportation to dig deep and find the necessary funds and eliminate the hazardous pedestrian environment downtown. There is simply no excuse for people to trip and fall on our sidewalks or lose their life simply crossing the street. Our town needs a champion to rally the troops and get everyone making phone calls and emails to our elected representatives in Frankfort and beyond to demand funding before another citizen is harmed. 

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Danville has always found success through broad, community wide advocacy — and this issue is certainly justified.

Julie Wagner