While it is nice that Riverside is continuing to upgrade its downtown streetscape and make it safer for pedestrian traffic, the proposed upgrade at the train station using pavers that match the new ones installed in the Burlington Street upgrade clearly demonstrate Riverside’s lack of taste, capable planning expertise and, worse yet, common sense.

These pavers are difficult to walk on at best, even for someone with no disabilities, but miserable for people with disabilities. On numerous occasions I have witnessed people using walkers struggling to move because the wheels of their walkers won’t roll over the uneven and bumpy surfaces. 

The pavers are difficult to walk on and just plain unsafe for people with disabilities. Since they pavers were installed, I prefer to walk in the street in the street or just avoid the CBD completely.

I also doubt that the BNSF would appreciate the installation of pavers that would make its train station non-compliant with the access to public services, particularly public transportation, specified in the Disabilities Act.

Since the pavers are already starting to disintegrate, at some point in the not too distant future Riverside is going to have to sandblast the pavers or skim coat them with concrete to make their surfaces even.

If we ignore the difficulty the pavers present for pedestrians, the fact remains that they are just plain ugly, which is probably why they have not been used in communities with thriving downtowns like Oak Park, Forest Park, LaGrange, etc. Of course, it may have been Riverside’s goal to keep folks from neighboring communities out, in which case, they are undoubtedly quite successful.

It would be a far better choice to use pavers that match the ones used in the new but basically unused and unmarked parking lot east of the post office building. Luckily, we have a physical therapy office in Riverside, so when residents trip and fall and break their legs or wrists, they won’t have far to go for physical therapy.

Jacquelyn Paine


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