Saturday, August 13, 2005

More Walking Blues

Jason Hardin wrote a great piece today about problems for pedestrians in Greensboro.

The most telling bits of his research, I think, are the study by the Surface Transportation Policy Project that shows we're the 7th most dangerous place for pedestrians in the country, and a RAND corporation study that rates the Triad as the 2nd most sprawling metropolitan area in America.

Let's add to that the STPP study that shows sprawl is associated with increased obesity and high blood pressure.

Unfortunately, Jason's excellent article was marred by quotations from a pedestrian-extremist blogger. Whatever is becoming of journalistic standards?

9 comments:

Kim said...

I think there might be something to this. Before we moved to Greensboro I wore a size 2. Now I wear a size 6. Perhaps it's because I'm getting older and I have less energy, or perhaps it's because we live in the middle of nowhere and have to drive everywhere! :-o

Sue said...

My (older) neighborhood has sidewalks. Some sidewalks. Here and there sidewalks. But about 2-3 years ago, they put in sidewalks around Brown Bark Park (it was an election year; I thought those two facts were related). Now, everyone walks around the park (they did before there were sidewalks but it's so much LESS dangerous now that parents let their kids traverse the park amid calls of "Stay on the sidewalk!"). Sidewalks are something that I was so used to up north (like basements) that I never thought any community didn't have them till I got here. New neighborhoods MUST be required to have sidewalks and add it in to the price because it's not that big a deal. That's all there is to it. So sayeth Sue. And existing neighborhoods should get them. I just don't know how to pay for the retrofit.

David Wharton said...

The city passed a transportation bond that is starting to fill in sidewalks where they are most needed.

You can read about that stuff here.

Unfortunately, even the new sidewalk ordinance is quite weak, thanks to the efforts of the local developers' lobbying group, TREBIC.

diane said...

Hey David,

When I ran for city council in 2001 and in 2003 I promised to work to improve public transportation and encourage the city to provide more sidewalks and bike lanes.

I also promised to support safe, family-friendly neighborhoods.

I am still running with these as part of my promises to Greensboro voters.

Billy Jones said...

It's one block from my home to my brother's home here in East Greensboro, and while my brother and I walk that block many of our family members do not. We can see each other's houses but traffic makes it unsafe for my nephews and nieces to walk from one house to the other even as we stand on our porches and watch them.

We have no sidewalks, no traffic enforcement, 300 plus cars a day run the stop sign on the corner of Textile and Willard and the average speed on Textile and Sykes is 55MPH plus in a 35MPH zone that should be 25 or less. We've complained to the city for over 40 years and it's only gotten worse.

David Wharton said...

Billy, has your neighborhood formed a neighborhood association? My experience is that the city is more responsive to organizations than it is to individual complaints.

Anonymous said...

I am extremely skeptical of the RAND study. Most measures of sprawl cover the entire MSA and describe the region that stretches from Yadkin to Burlington as the same "city" It's a pretty meaningless measure.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Jason Hardin didn't check with the person at the City Transportation office that coordinates bike and pedestrian projects. Peggy Holland, "sidewalk Lady", as she is known, actaually started a blog a while back: http://bothsidesofthestreet.blogspot.com/
Ask her about Jason's article.

David Wharton said...

Thanks for the link.

The Sidewalk Lady's blog seems to be dormant, though . . . maybe we can get her posting again!