Amy Napoleon and her husband frequently push their two children in a baby buggy to do their errands. She said it is a way to get exercise and it teaches the children that you don’t have to drive everywhere.
Napoleon and her family moved from Quincy to East Quincy three years ago. After she moved, Napoleon was surprised at how unsafe the sidewalks and street crossings were for pedestrians in East Quincy versus what she was used to in Quincy.
At the June 13 meeting of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors, Napoleon gave a Powerpoint presentation to the board illustrating the dangers for pedestrians in East Quincy.
The courage to speak up
Napoleon started her presentation by commenting, “I’m your average local resident of East Quincy trying to get around. It’s hard to walk when it’s not safe in East Quincy.
The response by the board after her presentation was positive. Simpson praised Napoleon, “It’s great to have a citizen bring something like this to us.” She added, “It takes a lot of guts to stand up and tell us what we need to hear.”
Bob Perreault, director of county public works, echoed Simpson’s praise for Napoleon.
Perreault said Napoleon’s presentation would be used as a catalyst to start a long overdue comprehensive look at sidewalks and road crossings in the county.
Perreault told the board that when East Quincy was built, “sidewalks were not given the priority they deserved.”
He said back East, where he used to work, sidewalks are considered a part of the highway. He said this is not the case in California.
Perreault noted that when he first moved to Plumas County, he was surprised that the county didn’t even own a sidewalk snowplow.
CalTrans and the general plan
Simpson pointed out, “We have a lot of goals addressing walkability in our general plan.”
Perreault explained that public works has to negotiate with CalTrans concerning state highways. He noted that the county has the responsibility for maintaining the new sidewalks being constructed in Greenville.
Perreault recommended that Napoleon give her presentation to the county transportation commission, which he said also addresses alternative transportation and pedestrian issues.
At this point, Supervisor Michael Sanchez recommended that public works move immediately to reduce the problem by identifying “any low-hanging fruit,” such as painting crosswalks.
Simpson concurred, “We have been talking about this problem for a long time.”
Perreault stressed, “We will use this information to kick start this discussion with CalTrans and within the county.”
Napoleon’s Powerpoint presentation can be found at the Plumas County Public Works website. Perreault can be reached at 283-6268 or [email protected].