At the time they sounded like good ideas, a Senior Task Force and an Advisory Commission on Disabilities; who wouldn’t applaud that. Well now it’s possible that some members of the Naperville city council wish they wouldn’t have to consider the wishes of each group. It would be so much easier to approve more outdoor seating areas in front of downtown businesses if they didn’t have to be mindful to the needs of disabled or senior citizens.
Both groups requested council members to reconsider the ordinance and increase the minimum sidewalk clearance width to eight feet. The concern was that by reducing the width of usable sidewalk area, it would impede folks who use wheelchairs and walkers, etc.
Watch and listen to part of the lengthy discussion that would almost be comical if it weren’t true, about how much room is necessary if two wheelchairs were coming towards each other from opposite directions, how much room would be needed to accomplish the maneuver and how the use of hands could alter equation:
Then Naperville councilman Paul Hinterlong throws a stick into the conversation:
Which then begs the question about what about a guy in an iron-lung; what is he to do? This embed is NSFW, (Not Suitable For Workplace (strong language):
Council members seem to be forgetting that the word ‘sidewalk’ is defined as a paved path for pedestrians also known as a walkway. Nowhere in the definition is the idea of how many tables and chairs can be squeezed into a limited space in order to increase business revenues and tax dollars. Simply stated, it appears the Naperville city council is determined to achieve gridlock on the streets and sidewalks of downtown Naperville.
The discussion lead to a side-topic near and dear to city officials; how much can they jack-up the permit fee for sidewalk seating. Watch and listen as Naperville councilman John Krummen uses some high-tech numerology to determine the fee should be raised from $500 to $1000:
He knows it’s “arbitrary with no math behind it”, but that’s good enough for Krummen. Suggestion: keep that in mind, when Krummen decides to run for office again. His decisions on money maters could be ‘arbitrary with no math behind it’, not exactly what tax payers, rate payers, and residents want to hear from an elected official.
Fortunately, the voice of reason (councilman Benny White) countered with some common sense:
Credit councilman Benny White with a nice defensive move that even the Loyola basketball team would be proud of.