Pedestrians of Philadelphia: Kelly Edwards

What is your experience as a pedestrian? How long do you walk? Why did you decide to walk as your commute?

The scenic Philly streets and access to shops and restaurants make Philadelphia a great place for walking. I often walk home from my job at 10th and Spring Garden all the way back to Bella Vista. I find it interesting to travel through a variety of neighborhoods.

What is your average commute? Where do you start and finish? Make any stops along the way?

I often take the 47 bus from 7th Street and Carpenter Street to 7th Street and Spring Garden Street. When I walk home, I take different routes. I like walking home at the end of the day. The congestion on the evening buses, lack of transit infrastructure, and junk in the street in the Spring Arts neighborhood make taking the bus home a less attractive option compared to walking over two miles.

Have you ever experienced a dangerous or problematic intersection? What happened?

The intersection at 7th Street, Carpenter Street, and Passyunk Avenue is one of the most dangerous I have ever seen. The diagonal creates a double stop that no drivers obey, but rather they roll through. What is especially troubling about this dangerous intersection is that it is on the same block as George W. Nebinger K-8 school.

What would you suggest to make walking in Philly safer?

Many of the city’s crosswalks are faded or non-existent, and many of the lights are timed incorrectly. The older sidewalks can be tough for the people with varying levels disabilities or with strollers. In addition, better street lighting would make walking at night feel safer.

Finally, more stringent parking enforcement and guidelines would prevent the rogue drivers from creating blind spots that create accident prone areas on streets and sidewalks.

Why do you think walking is important?

Walking is important for many reasons. It is social, I get to see neighbors and friends when I walk around town. It’s a healthy way to commute getting my legs moving after a day at the office or a weekend on the couch. It’s good for the economy as I am more likely to pop into a store if I’m walking by it. I also like to see the progress of projects in the city and walking by them is the best way to soak it in.

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