Walk this Way

The roads around my house have never been more dangerous. More cars, greater speed, less focus on driving — it’s all made things very tough on pedestrians.

I’ve complained about the lack of sidewalks in my end of town, and years ago the powers that be claimed they would be doing something about it. Well, years later the powers that be acted. For the past few months, a crew from the Town of Bethlehem worked to lay down nearly a mile of beautiful new sidewalk. This fills in a gap that now allows you to┬átravel all the way from Delaware Avenue to Route 9W without walking in the road.

sidewalk

It may not seem like a big thing to have a sidewalk, but this has already made me safer. For years I’ve run on the road, usually before dawn, and while I’ve done so with reflective gear and a very bright headlamp, it always feels dangerous when a car passes.

I’d say this is better for drivers, too. Now they won’t be startled by some nut out running on the road at 5am, distracting them from their eating, drinking coffee, texting, folding newspapers, reaching into the back seat, smoking pot — whatever. Yes, the aroma of weed often wafts out from passing cars at that hour.

Now, if the motorists can manage to stay on the road, I have nothing to worry about.

2 responses to “Walk this Way

  1. Did you or anyone in your neighborhood play any role in bringing this sidewalk to your neighborhood or did the city just show up one day and start digging? On our street, one side has a sidewalk + curb whereas the other side (our side) has neither and we’d like to do something about it. Just wondering if you (or anyone in your neighborhood) has any advice or guidance on how to bring about similar change.

    • As far as I know, there was no organized effort, but there have been years of comments and complaints from local residents. Between that and recommendations from the traffic safety committee, the idea gained traction and the town supervisor made it part of his campaign platform. Finally, the town obtained a grant that helped kick start the project.

      I wrote a post about it a few years back on the Times Union’s Bethlehem Blog, but they deleted all my content…

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