Friday, May 16, 2008

Walking in Sacramento

Sacramento has always been a great walking city, and this Bee article says it is even getting better, but watch out for the cars, as this excerpt notes:

“Anne Geraghty's seemingly simple job is to make walking safer and easier in Sacramento and its suburbs.

“For better or for worse, Geraghty's business is booming. The 66-year-old executive director of the nonprofit WALKSacramento has made travel on foot her mission in life.

“She's not going it alone. Walking is considered a key part of the equation as midtown enjoys a renaissance. The city is witnessing more pedestrian energy out there, the way a thriving city should and, according to urban visionaries, must.

“People are walking to get groceries, to join friends for dinner, to take their dogs and hang out at the coffee shop. They meet strangers eye to eye and, on occasion, mingle.

“As AAA's magazine Via says in its May/June issue: "Sacramento has become what many cities aspire to be: a great walking town."

“Some folks are buying into this walking dynamic to such an extent they are moving into the city's center and giving up their cars, or at least their second cars.

“So why is it that when Geraghty stepped off the curb one recent morning at a well-marked crosswalk at the corner of 13th and H Streets near her office, she got no respect?

“The driver of the first car didn't even look her way. The second one zoomed past. Then came the third, the fourth, the 11th. Nobody came close to stopping, as required by law.

"People are trying to get somewhere in a hurry," she said with a shrug after the street cleared and she made it across. To be fair, upon Geraghty's return, someone did stop, a woman driving with a child.”