Go it on foot

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 12, 2007

A growing movement around the world is a community development plan referred to as new urbanism.

A major component of new urbanism is to encourage car-free streets and promote pedestrian-friendly cities.

This form of development is already growing in European cities like Copenhagen and Venice.

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The idea is that residents enjoy the beauty and convenience of their cities more if they are walking the streets, rather than riding in vehicles.

The streets are safer. And having walking access to restaurants, shops, markets and business centers provides a higher quality of life, at least according to proponents of pedestrian-friendly cities.

They do this by converting some streets into pedestrian thoroughfares, turning parking lots into public squares and parks, and encouraging cycling and walking as modes of transportation.

Selma has a great start at being a pedestrian-friendly city. Downtown and Old Town have sidewalks, and there is a sidewalk on Dallas Avenue stretching to the shopping center.

Other areas of the city, however, do not have sidewalks. It’s of concern that some residential areas have no sidewalks for children walking home from school.

Wallace Community College Selma is another area that does not have sidewalks, and some students do walk from nearby apartments.

This is a matter of concern for Mayor James Perkins Jr. and the city council, and the city is considering adding more sidewalks in these parts of town.

We support the mayor and the council in this endeavor and encourage them to start constructing more sidewalks as soon as possible.

Building a pedestrian-friendly Selma can make us a safer, healthier city.