Last month, not long after we posted an article about the difficulties and life-risking challenges of trying to cross N 40th Street, a pedestrian, who happens to be an employee of Irwin’s Bakery, was hit by a car in that vicinity. Fortunately, this was not a fatal incident! It was, however, a serious accident resulting in two broken legs. Although Rio is expected to make a full recovery, she will be out of work for up to five months.
Irwin’s is hosting a fundraiser Wednesday, June 21, 6 – 9 p.m. at the cafe to help raise money to assist Rio with living expenses while she is recovering. For more details, you can visit the event listing on Facebook. If you are unable to make it to the event, you can give your donations to Linda or Rachel Fecher at the cafe.
In the same article about the dangers faced by pedestrians at the Bagley/40th intersection, as well as other problematic areas in the neighborhood, we reported that there are improvements coming to make walking safer (including curb ramps at all four corners, painted crosswalks, pedestrian lighting, sidewalk repairs and some improvements to nearby bus stops), but possibly not until 2019 (to save money by piggybacking on a scheduled repaving of 40th).
Although this latest incident seems to highlight the need for these improvements sooner, rather than later, Linda Fecher, owner of Irwin’s, was quick to point out that the driver was not at fault. Her employee had accidentally stepped into traffic in the middle of the block, unfortunately, at the wrong moment.
Whether this incident was related to the pedestrian-unfriendliness of the streets or not, the need already has been clearly established, and Linda told me that because of her regular contact with SDOT, they will be getting the two crosswalks and other improvements, such as wheelchair ramps, completed across 40th at Bagley this summer.
In fact, when I stopped by the cafe on Wednesday, Linda was excited to point out that the work was already underway with the completion of a 30-minute load/unload sign in front of the shop, which she had specifically requested (notice the new, bright-yellow paint on the curb!), and the wheels were in motion for the wheelchair ramps, with surveyors taking their measurements in the streets that day, as well, with the ramps scheduled to be complete by next weekend!
As a pedestrian and bicyclist in the neighborhood (and a big fan of Irwin’s), I am eagerly awaiting any and all of the improvements to make both of those activities more enjoyable and stress- and accident-free.
We wish Rio a speedy and full recovery, and Irwin’s a successful fundraiser!