Logo - Pedestrian sign (2k)

Sidewalks, please

Reprinted with permission of the
Fairfax Journal, Fairfax, Virginia.
August 6, 1998, page 4.


Everybody needs a hobby, and we should be glad that John Wetmore of Bethesda, MD, has made sidewalks his avocation.

Mr. Wetmore has taken to checking how safe roadways are for walkers. He's especially interested in sidewalks, or rather the lack of them. He's started a public access TV show called "Perils for Pedestrians", and the program's "intersection of the month" has featured several Fairfax locations that practically beg walkers to take out hefty life insurance policies: Lee Highway and Gallows Road in Merrifield, Fairfax Circle, and just about all of Leesburg Pike in Tysons Corner. The list wouldn't be complete without mentioning Tysons.

Suburban development isn't often geared to walkers, and Mr. Wetmore's spotlight points out how slapdash planning can lead to outright dangerous situations. (He also should focus on how Fairfax County now allows some subdivisions to be built without sidewalks on both sides of the street. Are kids supposed to play in the street?)

Planners, developers, builders, they can all do better. Walkers shouldn't have to take their lives in their hands, or their feet, just to get around.

Pedestrian sign from the
Manual of Traffic Signs,
by Richard C. Moeur

Updated October 07, 1999


Copyright 1998, 1999, and/or 2000


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