Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Keep City ‘Walkable’

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Keep City ‘Walkable’

Several weeks ago, a close friend of mine was walking on a brick sidewalk in Old Town, and fell face first on the sidewalk. On several occasions, I have also fallen on these same sidewalks, but thankfully, never face first. The most problematic sidewalks are those with tree wells, wherein a tree’s roots grow out to such a degree that they dislodge the sidewalk bricks, or cause the bricks to loosen. In other parts of town, the sidewalks are not level due to tree roots altering the angle of the concrete blocks, creating a sizeable gap between these blocks.

In today's’ climate, pedestrians are often glued to their telephones, either taking selfies, web surfing, or texting rather than having the situational awareness to pay close attention to where they walk. These phone-absorbed people are also likely to become “spill victims.” Needless to say, the city should be more vigilant in the inspection of sidewalks, and immediately take the appropriate corrective action, as it’s very easy to stub one’s toe on one of these loose bricks.

Another problem is the numerous potholes that have been created during this winter. Although the city’s repaving plan for its 550 miles of roads is to pave 50 miles each year, this may be insufficient for this year’s crop of potholes. (Hopefully the roads closest to your home are not scheduled for year 11!) Although the pothole dilemma is normally solved by calling the city’s pothole number to get more immediate attention, the city appears to be totally overburdened this year, so they need to step up their game, and to dedicate more resources to the problem. Since Alexandria considers itself to be a walkable city for the most part; due diligence is needed to make sure that this activity safely occurs without undue impediments.

Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet