Sunday, January 31, 2016

Poor Sidewalk/Crosswalk Surfaces Cost in Terms of Pedestrian Injuries

At an AARP training session last week we learned of a second downtown pedestrian injury in less than six months (incapacitating in this most recent situation) within our small Livable Communities Group from a fall on a downtown sidewalk caused by a surface defect and in an earlier case the condition of a crosswalk to a bus stop nearest a major senior housing facility. This all came into a discussion at the Walk Bike Council Thursday in regard locating infrastructure investments in an “equitable” manner among Burlington neighborhoods. The discussion suggested since seriously defective sidewalk surfaces exist at various points throughout the City in every neighborhood, all suffer in an equitable manner from the current low quality of the network. Poor walking surfaces represent more than an eye sore or bumpy conditions for strollers, shopping carts, bicyclists and scooters—they represent an real injury threat to all users, particularly the most vulnerable.. Burlington has already received a designation as a walk-friendly City. But all admit the condition of our sidewalks remains far from satisfactory, much less friendly to resident and visitor alike. The quality of our sidewalks and walking surfaces of both public and private areas do impact our health and safety—and not having the resources to maintain quality sidewalks remains a burden which many of our residents and visitors are made to pay a heavy and painful price.

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