Member Stories

Bay Area Neighbors Build Safe Walking Trail Along Dangerous Roadway

Written by Anne Dreshfield

In December 2013, Aron, of Walnut Creek, California, received a terrifying phone call: his wife had been struck by a car and thrown into an irrigation ditch in their neighborhood. She suffered a broken back, sacrum, and nerve damage.

Days later, Aron used Nextdoor to inform his neighbors of the incident – and of the major danger the roadway presented to the entire community. It was a narrow, busy street without sidewalks. Neighborhood children, including his own, used it every day to get to the local middle school.

Determined to do something to make the road safer, Aron launched a campaign to build walkways alongside the road.

Neighbors dodge cars and other pedestrians alike along Walnut Boulevard.

Neighbors dodge cars and other pedestrians alike along Walnut Boulevard.

The city estimated it would cost more than $4 million to reconstruct drainage pipes and build the sidewalks.
Unfortunately, his campaign was met with resistance by the City of Walnut Creek, who estimated it would cost more than $4 million to reconstruct drainage pipes and build the sidewalks. It would be years before any progress could be made.

Undeterred, Aron turned to his neighbors on Nextdoor to rally community support for the project. He secured permission from the homeowners on one side of the street to allow for a three-foot path to be built on their property.

“This would have been a much more difficult project to accomplish without Nextdoor.”
Then, he launched a fundraiser and promoted it on Nextdoor – ultimately raising $14,000 in donations from 163 neighbors to construct the path.

“This would have been a much more difficult project to accomplish without Nextdoor, which gave me a mechanism to spread the word and connect with all sorts of people who have volunteered to help in myriad ways,” Aron said.

Part of the new stretch of walkway, funded by neighbors.

Part of the new stretch of walkway, funded by neighbors.

The first portion of the path was completed in February 2015, and is used every day by kids and adults alike. Aron now wants to complete the path, and has kicked off a second fundraiser to raise an additional $4,000 for the remaining unsafe stretch of road.

As reported by The Contra Costa Times.

Do you have a story about how you have used Nextdoor in your neighborhood? Let us know.

 

2 Comments

  • I love seeing this sort of problem solving and community empowerment. While they city will hopefully be more supportive of future work regarding pedestrian safety, it’s great to see neighbors being successful by taking things into their own hands.

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