Walking is a great way to stay fit and save money on gas. But it's not always safe, depending on where you live. In fact, it might require taking action. But before you do that, assess your city’s walk-able score.
Determining If You Live in One of the Pedestrian-Friendly Cities
Pick a route you would like to walk. It might be downtown or in a quiet, residential area. Have a paper and pen handy to tally your city’s walk-able score.
On a scale of one to five (with five being excellent), rate your city’s walk-able score based on the following:
- room to walk (availability of sidewalks in good condition, obstructions such as shrubbery or signs);
- ability to cross (road is too wide, traffic signals don't allow enough time to cross, faded crosswalk lines);
- driver behavior (speeding, failing to yield, turning into the path of pedestrians); and
- safety (poor lighting, litter, polluted air, loose dogs, crime).
If you notice other problems, make note of those. Add up your score. The higher it is, the more walk-able the community. A score in the middle might call for a few changes. But a very low score could mean the risk is high for pedestrians.
By recognizing dangerous factors, you can take steps to address them and take action to make yours a walk-able community. Some examples of making changes to your city's walk-ability include speaking at a board meeting, writing a petition and talking with local media. If the problems are in a school zone, talk to the school about getting crossing guards in place. You may even be able to start a safe walking program or organize a speed watch program. If you want to take action, be sure first to research and review pedestrian laws. For instance, there are Georgia pedestrian control signal rules to which all walkers must adhere.
Taking a walk around your city can help raise awareness of some of the common causes of pedestrian accidents. It may bring attention to driver behaviors or pedestrian errors that contribute to them. The law office employees of Jason R. Schultz are proud to utilize the walk-able areas of Atlanta. If you have been injured while making use of a public sidewalk or other pedestrian area, call our office immediately for counsel on your personal injury claim: 404-474-0804.