Monday, December 10, 2007

Walkable Neighborhoods Must be Safe

WPLN has a report today that dovetails with attempts here in the North End to get the state to secure their properties here over night. The September rape of a Germantown resident on Bicentennial Mall underscores the insecurity of the park. In turn, that threatens the walkability of the North End neighborhoods, which ultimately undermines our health:
[Metro Health Department spokesperson Margaret Holleman] says there are many things which can make streets less than friendly to something as simple as walking.

"Everything from whether the cars are moving too fast—it makes people uncomfortable to walk, to are there curb cuts so somebody in a baby stroller or wheelchair can get off and on the curb, are there dogs around, does it feel safe from a crime perspective?"
A couple of weeks ago exercising walkers in Bicentennial Mall told NewsChannel5 that they are using the state park for exercise as early as 4:30 in the morning, almost three hours before the state starts securing the park each day.

If Metro Health indeed wants to promote walking in our neck of the 'hoods, then the Mayor's Office is going to have to commit itself to securing the streets and sidewalks around Bicentennial Mall during those hours when working people actually have time to walk. The Governor's Office seems less than willing to.

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