Nov 10 2020

Barriers to Piedmont Health Walkers

Piedmont pedestrians raise safety issues when walking for exercise and recreation.

Sidewalk blocked by vehicle parking violation.


Walking is a simple healthful exercise especially recommended during the COVID – 19 pandemic.  Not only medically beneficial, but a stress reliever for those reacting to cabin fever.  Regrettably, in Piedmont there are safety challenges to pedestrians.  While the City has prohibited parking vehicles on sidewalks, the police rarely enforce the prohibition.  Seniors, toddlers, baby carriages, wheelchair bound, all are too often forced into competition with vehicular traffic in the streets.  As rainy season approaches, this will be an increasingly dangerous situation for the many health walkers trying to use Piedmont sidewalks on a daily basis.

Attractive crosswalk painted patterns (see illustration below) improve street appearance while providing additional protection to pedestrians crossing busy intersections.

Piedmont women in particular choose walking as their daily exercise under the current constrained conditions since bicycling and swimming do not build bone density, a prime consideration.

Cyclists are prone to weak bones. Read more here.

“A cohort of female Olympic swimmers had lower bone mineral density measurements at all sites when compared with non-aquatic elite athletes, suggesting that weight-bearing or strength activities out of water could be incorporated into training to improve bone health, according to findings published in Bone.”   Healio News July 09, 2019  Read more here   Bone Journal articles here

Piedmont walkers are also keenly aware of hazardous sidewalks with cracks and upliftings.  It has been noted that in certain areas of Piedmont sidewalk corrections have never occurred.  Walkers are often forced into the street to find a level walking surface creating a danger for vehicles and themselves.  Piedmont streets are on a comprehensive pavement management schedule.  No such program is known for Piedmont sidewalks.

It has been suggested that vehicles should be allowed to park on only one side of narrow streets to allow pedestrians, vehicles, and bicycles safe passage.

Photos showing common vehicle violations.

Attractive pedestrian crosswalk pattern more visible to cars.

2 Responses to “Barriers to Piedmont Health Walkers”

  1. A side issue is the insistence of many walkers and joggers to walk or run in the street. Some rather obliviously. There are gaps in sidewalks here and there that might explain this, but usually it’s just a preference. Eventually one of these brave souls will be hit by a car.

  2. I completely agree. The elephant in the room related to walking and health, however, is the number of people who don’t wear masks. It is truly discouraging.

    To the jogger who passed me on the sidewalk and briefly pulled their mask up and then removed it: your vapor trail could have COVID-19 in it and I don’t want to breathe it or get it in my eyes. Same goes for cyclists. Or walkers.

    According to the latest numbers (yesterday), the US has 50 times the deaths from COVID-19 that Japan has (per capita). The difference is they are religious about wearing masks in public and we are not.

    I get it, we’re all tired of the lockdown. We all want things to go back to normal. The best way to do that is to wear a mask when you are outside.

    Thank you for listening.

Leave a Comment