More about Anna sidewalk project...

Scope of The Project

The City of Anna is partnering with the Active Transportation Alliance with the goal of bringing a more complete sidewalk network to our community. This organization has provided the city with a number of resources including a survey, flyers, yard signs, and a large poster. 

The survey was put out and received a lot of traffic, but mainly from people who use a private vehicle as their primary form of transportation. 

City Administrator Dori Bigler and Planning Intern Conner Jerolds came up with a plan to hear from community members who use alternative methods of transportation. Conner spent a week doing field work by setting up in different locations around town including the Farmers Market, Anna Vista, Hindman Park, and riding the Shawnee MTD Bus. 

This proved to be a very good strategy as the city received over 50 different survey responses from community members that use alternative modes of transportation. Regardless if the survey came from a person who drives, walks, or takes the bus, everyone is in agreement that this is a much-needed addition to our community.

Importance to Community

Owning a vehicle is an incredibly large burden on a family or individual. For vehicles driven over 15,000 miles a year, the average cost is $9,666 a year, or $806 a month. 

For many individuals and families this is not something that is realistically attainable. This does not mean that they shouldn’t have access to all of our community’s resources. Community members should be able get around the city, and especially the essentials, without the use of an automobile.

The City of Anna has two quality grocery stores, Kroger and Walmart, both of which are located along the Vienna Street corridor after the sidewalk has ended. Access to quality food is an essential part to the human experience. This plays a huge role in the growth and development of our community’s youth. Providing a route to these grocery stores aside from driving will allow families and individuals to grow and prosper.

The City of Anna has four (pharmacies), Kroger, Walmart, Walgreens, and Medicap, all of which are located along the Vienna Street Corridor after the sidewalk has ended. It is essential that all members of this community have access to medication. This sidewalk/bike path will allow people to safely get their prescriptions/medication without having to use an automobile.

Access to alternative modes of transportation are an extremely vital aspect of a community. Being able to make a choice of how you want to get to your destination allows a person more freedom in their everyday life. Active forms of transportation improve many aspects of an individual’s life by reducing the risk of obesity as well as chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Walking and Biking increase blood circulation to the brain and body which has a positive impact on mood and can improve overall mental health.

Purpose of the Walk

On August 3rd, 2022, the City of Anna organized a Walkability Audit of the Vienna Street Corridor. The aim of this event was to showcase the dangers and difficulties of walking/biking/rolling in this area of the city. To someone who does not walk/bike/roll as their primary form of transportation, this danger might not be apparent to them as it is not something that they have ever experienced. Getting people out of their cars and physically walking this path causes them to change their outlook on the situation.

The outcome of the audit was as expected. The walk began at City Hall and ended at Walmart. The Pedestrian Infrastructure along this corridor is severely lacking. The total distance of the walk is 5,629 feet or 1.06 miles. This walk requires a person to cross two intersections. 

Since the distance for these intersections is incredibly large it will be very difficult to cross, especially for those who are elderly or have mobility issues. 

Pleasantness

Aside from the conditions of the sidewalks and lack thereof, other factors added to the unpleasantness of the walk. Most of Vienna Street is a four lane road with a turn lane all the way through it. 

More lanes and wider roads cause drivers to drive at increased speeds which not only is intimidating to pedestrians but also creates a very noisy environment. The fear of cars speeding past you along with consistently loud traffic make for a very uncomfortable walk. This corridor is also absent of any trees or coverings which leave pedestrians susceptible to the elements and contribute to the unpleasantness.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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