9 thoughts

  1. This statement was driven home to me just a few weeks ago. Where I currently live, walking isn’t really part of the design. Sure, I walk my dog in the area and there is even one sidewalk on my side of the road, but the area is primarily small business, with its parking lots, designed for quick in and out by car. However, a few weeks ago, I was asked to look after a friends dog while they were out of town for three days. Their home, in the Garden District, is centered in a true neighborhood. Sidewalks, trees, people actually in their yards and on the porch. Sure, some houses are in pretty bad shape, but for the first time in my life I actually understood what a pedestrian neighborhood could be like.

    And I loved it.

  2. Thank you Lamar for consistently bringing attention to quality of life issues affecting the City of Alexandria.

    As SPARC initiatives move forward, sidewalks/trails, and more importantly connectivity issues associated with the pedestrian environment, must be addressed as top priority projects for bettering the health, enjoyment, and visual appeal of our city.

  3. Venerable Chuck Park is covered with sidewalks, and the traffic is such that you can ride your bike all day. When Versailles opens up, there will be even less thru traffic in there, and I will be exstatic.

  4. A bit more on this in a previous post:

    https://cenlamar.com/2009/01/28/drew-ward-cenla-needs-to-be-walkable-and-bikeable/

    I actually spent about a month earlier this year assessing the bikability of CenLa and found that many of our older neighborhoods are actually quite bike friendly but that there are major obstacles to both cyclist and car safety that need to be addressed.

    It’s unfortunately a tough sell to encourage leaders to embrace pedestrian and bicycle paths as a means of efficient transportation in the area.

    Somehow the conservatives have managed to sell cycling as hippyish and unamerican to the point that may actually view those trying to ride bikes around town as trouble makers (just look at the TT forums).

    1. “Somehow the conservatives have managed to sell cycling as hippyish and unamerican to the point that may actually view those trying to ride bikes around town as trouble makers (just look at the TT forums).”

      This is true. I overheard a woman saying that she could not believe that grown men rode bicycles. That is a sad way to think about it. I look at it as saving gas, helping the environment and doing something healthy for yourself. Alexandrians are unique in their points of view. I don’t understand it.

  5. As i’ve made my living on a bike for 14 years now, I’m extremely sensitive to this issue. I always wondered why Alexandria never got around to creating a colossal graven image to the car as the design of the areas beyond Texas Avenue seem to only be concerned with car worship, to the point human scales of living and community weren’t even brief blips in community planners heads all of those years. The issue of developing safe and efficient routes for pedestrians & bikes is central to civilized 21st Century communities that want to get anywhere in regard to appealing to beings who want to be able to stroll or roll to work and recreation in relative without dodging about through a maze of all manner of mayhem. It’s absolutely morally deficient to have not facilitated transport around town for anything but autos and a half-hearted bus service (once-per-hour routes even during peak commutes, zero service on Sundays, etc.) by 2009. Aren’t the values of safety for children and the disabled, if nothing else, enough to at least begin to speak to the issue of, I don’t know, maybe getting 4 or 5 blocks of the no-stop south side of Jackson facilitated for non-cars? Maybe even getting the impossibly narrow pavement of the important thruway of Horseshoe/Twin Bridges addressed could be at least thought about. There are freakin’ ditches right off the pavement there, hardly even grass to escape to as you slip into those road-hugging ditches. I rode about 10,000 miles in 3 years in Alexandria and I’m now much more comfortable on the big city streets of Shreveport due to halfway decent considerations of the needs of non-vehicular transport. Thanks for allowing me to rattle this off really quick, hoping some thinking might start on a seemingly obvious important issue.

  6. Driving home, I made the same comment today. My husband hears it so much from me…he just rolls his eyes and grunts. All the same, we do need bike paths and, more importantly, sidewalks! It is interesting that something as basic as sidewalks were not thought of or planned when constructing most of Alexandria’s neighborhoods. Its apalling.

    1. No Andrea, what’s appalling is that they are STILL building neighborhoods here with no sidewalks!

      Look at some of the new cookie cutter subdivisions that have gone up on both sides of the river in recent years — asphalt or cement directly up to the edge of the yards and no sidewalk to speak of.

      I wish I could figure out a way to get most Americans to understand the difference in both function and purpose of a bikepath versus a sidewalk. They really do serve two totally different functions.

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