Opinion: Feedback welcome concerning pedestrian infrastructure, Clarkson professor says
Thursday, August 1, 2019 - 5:47 am

I am writing in response to ”Pedestrians Feel Ignored Over Sidewalk Surveys” which appeared in the July 17-23 issue of North Country This Week.

I would like to thank him for his letter and his comments. The development of a vibrant community that takes into account all members in all modes of transportation is a proven success story across the spectrum of our country and especially here in the North Country.

His concerns about how local municipalities are focusing the use of their (our) resources is one many share. Since the publication of several stories about the Clarkson CEM Consulting Group’s ongoing work this summer (sponsored by the Health Initiative), we have been privileged to hear from many via email or as the students pass homes in our communities doing their inventory work. We are making sure that information is included as we collect the status of the pedestrian infrastructure in Potsdam and Gouverneur.

We encourage you to share more as we continue through early August (you can feel free to email to [email protected]). The intent of this work is that it become a living inventory, which can be updated over time as conditions change.

As such, this will be a tool to catch problem areas and enable fixes based on priorities and resources available. This is particularly true come winter when it is up to local property owners to help clear the sidewalks in front of their homes (pursuant to section 145-5 of the Village of Potsdam Code).

The more that is done by all of us to make our streets as complete as they can, the more that we will see and know the positive culture we share.

The real message here is that it is up to all of us in the community to help make this the great place we enjoy. We are glad to be a small part of that effort and it’s hoped that this will continue to aid the Potsdam community (and other communities) for years to come.

Erik C. Backus

Clarkson University professor