January 20, 2005

Virginia Project Narrows Road For Better Pedestrian Environment

A main road in Blackburg, Va. will soon be narrowed in order to make a better downtown environment for walkers.

"The road’s alterations will include decreasing the width to add more or larger sidewalks, as well as benches, trees and pedestrian streetlights," according to an article in the Collegiate Times. "Though the road is currently four lanes, the planners are looking at narrowing the roadway, making it a slower traffic flow. 'We just want to get away from the widened road, which tends to increase speeds,' [state traffic engineer David] Clarke said."

Too bad planners here so rarely think about a pedestrian-friendly ambiance when doing road construction work. Instead, as we'ev done on Rte. 30, we usually add lanes, tack on sidewalks that no one would ever actually want to use unless they had a flat tire, and then consider the work done because those sidewalks meet code. Sigh.

Pedestrian-friendly means more than building sidewalks.

1 comment:

  1. We need to encourage more cities to take this approach. Physical barriers to walking must be reduced and/or eliminated. The benefits are numerous and contribute to healthy active communities. Let's end sedentary behavior and get people interacting with their environment more.