March 9, 2006

Mayor in Florida Seeks More Pedestrian-Friendly Bridge

Jackson, Fla. Mayor John Peyton supports reducing a traffic lane on a Main Street bridge in order to make it more appealing for walkers, according to "One of the first things the city would do to make the bridge more pedestrian friendly would be to expand the bridge's sidewalks to make pedestrians feel safer and create a lot more space," the story explains. "After the sidewalks are expanded, the mayor wants to take away one lane of traffic and create an environment that would attract more people with outdoor cafes and a large open area."

Note the concept here: Sidewalks already exist on the bridge, but apparently they're not sidewalks that many people would actually want to use. This is a key issue that far too few of our public officials here understand. Simply installing sidewalks does not make an environment where people will actually walk. There are definite streetscape requirements to attract pedestrian activity, including a buffer between walkers and whizzing traffic.

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