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Form a Crack Corps!

Sherman Oaks

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An innovative partial remedy for San Luis Obispo's and many other cities'--that is, their residents' and visitors'!--sidewalk tripping hazards could be a virtual "Crack Corps" of alert pedestrians who systematically report these hazards to the city when they encounter them, which reports are followed up quickly by a city worker who paints a bright white line on, along, or around the reported jutting sidewalk sections and broken edges ("Falling down," May 5).

The "See, Click, Fix" mobile app that offers "tools to not only spot problems, but help correct them" could be utilized for this. I'm partially disabled and have many times almost met musculo-skeletal perdition at such sidewalk locations, and I've seen serious tripping incidents happen to others. We who have tripped and almost tripped know it's the little stuff, the barely noticeable disjunctions between two flat pieces of walkway or the inch-high vestigial posts that are the most treacherous; tagged in a bright color that means “trippable,” these spots will be less dangerous to the on-foot public even though unfixed.

Since the municipal infrastructure folks aren't able to correct these spots quickly, such as by filling in the trippable spaces with a long-lasting resin or concrete, let's at least get them marked clearly and brightly! Maybe a municipally deputized sidewalk Crack Corps could both document and mark (with a special bright-line spray paint device?) these ground hazards. Better and safer sidewalks are part of the way that SLO and America will promote walkable communities—and in the process lower our collective carbon emissions.

Another kind of "crack"—and carbon—the Crack Corps could look out for are cracks in store doors, in the summer and in hot climates, leaking out the cooled (by lots of electricity) air. Documenting loose public portals with a mobile app and sharing the info with a city or state energy-efficiency agency that subsequently encourages, incents, or requires these commercial establishments to tighten up their air leaks will be another useful anti-carbon "crowd task."

I'm starting to crack up, so I'll stop here.

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