Trying to drive or walk through our downtown neighborhoods can be more than challenging.
Driving along North 5th Street often finds vehicles dodging pedestrians who have no sidewalks to walk on for safety. Often, cars must come to a stop behind pedestrians to avoid hitting oncoming traffic in the opposite lane. It is just a matter of time before a tragedy occurs.
The lack of sidewalks puts children, the elderly and those with special needs in risky, dangerous situations.
The elderly in our neighborhoods don’t have smooth surfaces to walk on; instead, they have gravel and bumpy streets. Pedestrians are forced to walk in the streets and around parked cars. The other alternative is traipsing through neighbor’s lawns, which doesn’t make for good relationships.
Connecting walkways promote family-friendly neighborhoods. Having sidewalks encourages neighbors to visit with each other. They allow for walks with families, pets and friends.
Sidewalks also encourage fitness. Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett reengineered his city when it made the list of the country’s most obese cities in Men’s Fitness magazine in 2007.