Carissa Condor: Sidewalks mean safety
December 18, 2012
To the editor:
My family moved to Craig just less than five years ago and almost immediately I noticed a lack of sidewalks and bike lanes in town.
This bothered me almost immediately but I have been pushed to the point of writing this letter only recently. And that’s because the significant risk that no sidewalks entails has presented itself to me in a very real way.
My daughter is a first grader at Sandrock Elementary. In good weather we ride bikes, but in bad weather we tend to drive. Unfortunately I was recently in an accident and we are now a one-car family, which means on certain days we walk.
What I have seen walking to and from my daughter’s school is, quite frankly, alarming. Of the five blocks we walk to school only one of those blocks has a sidewalk and lucky for us it is mostly kept shoveled by the residents of the block.
All the blocks have numerous cars parked along the street. This isn’t such a big deal when the streets are clear and dry, two cars can pass each other with a little wiggle room between two cars parked on the side.
Add some snow and ice to that road and the wiggle room all but disappears. Top it off with a pedestrian walking around one of those parked cars (because the pedestrian has nowhere to walk but ON the road) and the road essentially becomes one lane.
IF people are courteous and wait for each other in these bottlenecks, there isn’t much of a problem. But that leaves my and my daughter’s safety, along with the safety of every other kid who walks to school, reliant on other people’s good manners.
That just doesn’t cut it for me. When re-curbing or paving a street, it takes very little extra effort to add a sidewalk.
Will it take a child dying at the hands of a hurried or distracted driver in the morning chaos to make sidewalks worthwhile here? I hope not.