Bad sidewalks could be safety hazard in Nacogdoches

Bad sidewalks could be safety hazard in Nacogdoches

Some residents in Nacogdoches are concerned about the bicycle and hiking trails in their area. On Wednesday, a member of the National Complete and Street Coalition spoke to Rotary Club Members on how Nacogdoches can improve in personal mobility.

Shannon White, a massage therapist in downtown Nacogdoches, said she likes her location. However, she admitted navigating through the area at times can be frustrating.

"A lot of the sidewalks are cracked in the downtown area," White said. "Some of them are really narrow. There are places where there are no sidewalks at all."

Kevin St. Jacques is a walking and bicycling advocate. He said when it comes to the layout of Nacogdoches, it doesn't cater to pedestrians. He further explained that as the city developed, sidewalks were left out of the equation.

" As we moved into the automobile-oriented era, they forgot about sidewalks, forgot about people mobility, and we were more interested in moving cars throughout the city," St. Jacques said.

He said the lack of adequate sidewalks in the area forces people like White to drive short distances when they could normally walk to and from their destination. Studies show that 55 percent of Americans would rather walk more and drive less.

"There are national standards for the design for bike and pedestrian facilities, but a lot of the facilities out here were developed before these standards were put in place," St. Jacques said.

However, if upgrades aren't made soon, it won't just be a convenience issue but a safety issue.

He said that some sidewalks in the area are not wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.

He said sidewalks not only add to public safety; they to property value, which is something that the residents would like to see.

Those interested in hearing more about the possible sidewalk improvement can attend the town hall meeting which will be held 6 p.m. on Tuesday Oct. 28th at the Commercial Bank in Nacogdoches.

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