You’d never know it to look at the transportation infrastructure, but many people walk to get around south Fresno. You can tell from the dirt paths they leave behind. Nameless brave souls have cut a passage through the grass next to the town’s wide, high-speed arterials, and behind its Walmart.
Recently a public meeting was held in this lower-income central California community, and Network blogger James Sinclair of Stop and Movewas in attendance. Despite the myriad pressing social issues in this community, street conditions were the number one concern, according to an open-ended survey of local residents.
Sinclair has this report:
The people doing the survey expected responses like “more police”, “better education” and “parks”, as south Fresno has more crime, lower performing schools and a lack of green space. But that’s not what people said.
Most people said what they would spend money on fixing were the streets. More sidewalks, safer roads, and better looking roads.
I can see why improving the streets is of such importance to these residents. Right now, their main system of transportation, their main interaction with city infrastructure is broken. And that kills commerce, it kills recreation, and it kills the creation of a positive sense of community.