Jevin Florio wants local officials to address a long-neglected safety hazard in his neighborhood near Frantz Street.
“The sidewalks could be improved, especially for older people walking around,” Florio said. “They could hit their feet or get caught in the cracked-up parts and fall or trip.”
Florio also worries about his four children getting hurt when they play or walk outside.
Sidewalks on Frantz Street, between Camp and Clinton streets, are terribly jagged. In some areas, large gaps exist of where a sidewalk should exist but doesn’t.
“I would appreciate some improvements,” Florio said.
Erie County officials sympathize with Florio, identifying Frantz Street as one of the most dangerous pedestrian pathways around.
Almost one out of every five sidewalks in Erie County is unsafe to walk on, according to a recent Erie Regional Planning study.
The report’s main purpose provides an idea of Erie County’s existing sidewalk network and offers characteristics of each pathway.
About 500 streets in Erie County have a sidewalk on at least one side of the road.
The study classified a sidewalk as any street — no matter how long, be it 500 feet or 5 miles — with a dedicated walking path beside, but separate from, a road.
Pinpointing where cracked, crooked and defective sidewalks exist can help area officials dedicate local dollars to fixing them. The study can also influence officials to seek grant money for upgrades.
“It’s a starting point of information that people can use,” Erie Regional Planning director Steve Poggiali said. “The intent is to utilize the information and provide our local jurisdictions information to assist them to integrating pedestrian travel into their transportation planning process.”
Among the study’s key findings:
• The worst sections of sidewalks are located on Frantz Street between Camp and Clinton streets in Sandusky; Sloane Street in Sandusky; and Second Street from Ohio 113 to South Street near Schoepfle Garden in Florence Township
• Several gaps or missing sections exist across Erie County’s sidewalk network.
• Defects primarily occur from an aging sidewalk stock. Most of the roads with poor sidewalks were built between the 1950s and 1970s.
• Many busy streets, such as Milan Road (U.S. 250) and Perkins Avenue, either don’t have sidewalks or have gaps throughout the paths.
The $5,000 yearlong study required people to both digitally and manually inspect sidewalks.
Whatever sidewalks weren’t visible via computer, officials and office interns judged a sidewalk’s integrity in person.
“It is important to have sidewalks and bike paths, but fixing them comes down to the will of the community,” Poggiali said. “If there isn’t any money or the will isn’t there, then it doesn’t happen.”