Photo by rafaelm on Flickr.

Sometimes, even sidewalks are controversial. In Hyattsville, many narrow streets never had sidewalks; as the city has grown, this has become a pedestrian safety problem. Yesterday, the Hyattsville City Council passed a resolution to add sidewalks to a few neighborhood streets around Prince George’s Plaza.

Some residents had argued against the change, of course. Some feared they would lose on-street parking (they would not). Some feared the streets would become too narrow for trucks (they would not, and the traffic calming effect will help the neighborhood). Some cited “character of the neighborhood”. As a compromise, the Council added sidewalks on the main neighborhood through streets and left some more lightly used streets alone.

More broadly, the Council also approved the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, which identifies safety priorities and promotes more coordination between city officials and citizens around safety.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.