Rethinking the Old

on September 15 | in Community Engagement, Events, News/Updates | by | with No Comments

How a conversation led to a simple solution for a crosswalk

A crosswalk seems like such a simple thing.  In mid-December 2012, this was on the minds of people gathered at CDF’s Next Steps Safe Community Meeting.  People were not using the crosswalk by Indian Creek Way and Indian Creek Drive.  In fact, some people had been hurt crossing the street when not using the crosswalk.  “Do we need another crosswalk?” some people wondered.

Then something happened.  A newcomer to the group spoke up.  He told the group that the crosswalk flooded in the rain, so people got in the habit of not using the crosswalk. People leaned in.  Dean Moore, a city council member, noted that he had walked many of the paths as a member of CALI (Clarkston Active Living Initiative), but he had rarely walked them when it rained.

Crosswalk during rain

Crosswalk during rain.

Having a new perspective changed the solution.  Instead of a new crosswalk, the group realized that the existing crosswalk could be fixed.  Photos were taken of the crosswalk during the rain, then local and county governments worked together to fix the existing crosswalk.  During the first week of September, crews rolled in to re-grade and resurface the crosswalk. Residents can now cross safely.

Susan Rawlins, a member of CALI who was active in working with the county, called Purna Kammar, the person who spoke up at CDF’s Next Steps meeting.   Purna asked if the crosswalk was fixed because of his comments in the meeting – he was surprised and thrilled that his words had been the catalyst for such an important community improvement.  Rawlins said,  “It was not only great to get the problem resolved, but was a huge learning experience for him on how citizens can work within organizations such as CDF, CALI, and the government to make changes.”

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