Friday, August 26, 2005

The Right Way to Encourage Pedestrian Traffic

Following up on my previous post about a proposed bike/walking path in Charlottesville, I offer an example of a small project in the town of Pound, in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia. According to, Rep. Rick Boucher, D-9th, has pried loose $80,000 in federal funds for construction of a pedestrian walkway there.

Currently, pedestrians walking Highland Avenue share the roadway with vehicular traffic -- not exactly what you'd call pedestrian friendly. The completed sidewalk will connect one residential and business area of downtown Pound to another business area and will provide safe and convenient pedestrian access between the two areas.

Will there be sufficient foot traffic to justify the expenditure of $80,000? That's a different question. But at least we're talking about a transportation project that promotes mobility and access in the town -- not recreation.


At 9:09 AM, Blogger Ray Hyde said...

We agree again, Jim. Whatever this project turns out to be it has to be better than a blanket command that all new roads have sidewalks or bike paths.

I wonder about using federal money for this though. Isn't this really a local project that can and should be paid for by local interests? I'd guess there must be $80,000 in paperwork associated with getting that much in federal funds, so the true cost of this kind of pork is much higher than what appears on the surface.

To my mind it is a case of people paying for their own locational choices.


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