Monday, March 29, 2010

The hazards of walking.

The city of Dunwoody has some marvelous concepts in its long range plan, including more pedestrian and bike friendly paths. Since I live tucked against Dunwoody Village, I'm particularly eager to see and enjoy a more iconic and engaging city center.

Until those sidewalks and lanes are a reality, walking in Dunwoody is quite an experience. My daughter and I walked to Michael's the other day to pick up some supplies for a school project. Walking down Mt. Vernon Road (then Highway) from Dunwoody Village, the sidewalk is wide and easy to traverse. But, just before the shopping center, pedestrians are forced to cross busy Mt. Vernon Road via a crosswalk because the sidewalk ends well before the traffic light.

For a time, there was a nice marker in the middle of the crosswalk reminding drivers they need to stop for pedestrians. But, naturally, someone has driven over it. We found the marker tossed in the grass and leaned it against a telephone pole.

I counted 32 cars roaring past us as we waited for a break in traffic to cross. When the near lane emptied, I stepped into the crosswalk to alert drivers we were ready to come across. They SPED UP. So we jumped back. Finally there was a big break in traffic and we scampered across.

On the return, we decided to walk the uneven natural area on the opposite side of the road until we reached the Ashford-Dunwoody Road intersection because then we'd have a traffic light to assist us in our crossing.

My daughter wants to ride her bicycle all over Dunwoody. But I'm forced to talk to her about her route because the availability of sidewalks and traffic lights dictates whether it's safe enough for her to go solo. The library or her friend's house in Mill Glen? Yes, but only if she rides on the sidewalk (contrary to courtesy and rules).  Anything along Ashford-Dunwoody or Mt. Vernon Road? No!

I hope the replacement of the crosswalk marker comes soon. And I pray that none of those impatient drivers hits a pedestrian in the crosswalk.

1 comment:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts - it's great to hear from you!