Monday, April 16, 2012

Unwalkable America

From Tom Vanderbilt's Slate Column, America's Pedestrian Problem:

"This failure to plan for anyone on foot is just one of a number of shortcomings of our overbuilt, undermaintained road network that are coming into relief. In Orlando parents of children who live closer than two miles to school are worried about looming cuts in bus service due to budget constraints. There is even concern about those who face a relatively short walk of 100 yards to catch a bus. Why? Because the environment was not built to accommodate anyone walking—there are no sidewalks and only poor crossings amid fast-moving traffic. Elsewhere, schools built without sidewalks scramble for funding as students walk in the ditches beside busy roads. In South Jordan, Utah, a woman was cited with child neglect for allowing her son to walk to school. Why was he walking? Because the school had eliminated its “hazardous bus routes.” What’s a hazardous bus route? A bus route meant to pick up kids who live in areas without sidewalks. There is child neglect going on here, for sure, but it’s the neglect of a system in which children within walking distance of school cannot actually do so." 

Read the full article.


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