Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Prioritization Information

As the saying goes, everything old is new again. When the heart of our City was developed in the mid eighteen hundreds, the automobile didn’t exist and walking was a way of life. All the older areas of the City with small lots, alleys, and little off street parking can attest that these properties were probably not developed with the same emphasis on the automobile that exists today.

Since the 1950’s, common planning principles revolved around implementing a road network for the automobile as part of new development. McKinley Avenue, Grape Road, and other traditional shopping centers were developed in this era where a focus was placed on accommodating traffic. Typical suburban style residential developments were also developed during this time like Reverewood where setbacks were provided to accommodate off street parking in driveways.

In the last few decades we have seen resurgent interest in providing alternative forms of transportation both as a necessity for those who do not own a car and to improve our quality of life. This has led to creation of the City’s riverwalk system and increased spending for improving and creating sidewalks. Since 1990, when the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, every year the City has made incremental improvements to make our City more accessible, not just for those with specific disabilities, but for everyone. We have also emphasized a safe route to school program working in concert with School City of Mishawaka.

Since our City’s establishment in 1833, a lot of infrastructure has been built. To upgrade the City’s infrastructure all at once is not only impossible but, in some cases, it is not even desirable. Thus, the City continues to prioritize how to incrementally improve sidewalks and designate routes for bicycles. This is where your help was needed.

Since funds are limited, we want to make improvements where they are most desired. The point of the survey we conducted was for you as a resident/property owner to identify places where improvements would both encourage and help you and your family to walk and bike. Please understand that we were not looking for an inventory of the areas that do not currently have walks, ramps, or bike lanes, unless you or your family would use them.

Having collected data from the beginning of August, 2011 to the end of September, 2011, we will use the information to create priorities and expand/refine proposed construction projects to maximize the impact/effectiveness of the improvement.

We also want to remind you of a popular program that has helped many Mishawaka homeowners upgrade their residential property. The City has a 50/50 curb and sidewalk replacement program. The City pays half of your qualified curb and sidewalk upgrades. If you are looking for information on the replacement program, you can review it here on our website.

One of our goals as is to continue to positively impact the quality of life for you and your family, your neighborhood, and the entire City of Mishawaka. Providing for alternative forms of transportation contributes to that goal. Your help and participation has been both essential and appreciated!