With the Haynes-Apperson festival this weekend, the city of Kokomo will expect to see hoards of people coming downtown, many of which will cross Washington Street, a busy 4-laned roadway. All the recent road construction downtown made it more pedestrian and bike-friendly, but people who live nearby in the Old Silk Stocking Neighborhood are cut off from downtown because the thought of crossing the busy road makes people anxious. I had a funny thought the other day. Whenever I see people crossing Washington Street at the Sycamore Street intersection they often look as if they are crossing an illegal border, oftentimes hurrying across either roadway seeming like they are trying to not be seen. This problem made me think about what changes could be made to comfort pedestrians and bicyclists along Washington Street and the many side streets near downtown. With small changes, we could see more people walking and biking to the central business district, which in turn would benefit Kokomo.
Desired Pedestrian Connection with Three busy intersections (Image: Ross Pierce 6/29/11)