As promised a walkability score for Waynedale will follow. However, there are several qualifiers involved.
First of all, I probably walked what I consider the scariest and worst area to score in Waynedale. The Bluffton Road turning right at the Lower Huntington Road and Bluffton Road intersection. Secondly, I utilized a walkability test that has been designed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Center for Safe Routes to School, and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.
I employed this test at this area to highlight the worst of Waynedale. Some will say that Winchester Road walking/biking from the turn off at the Expressway to Bluffton Road is more dangerous – and I have had some report that Sandpoint Road is no ‘walk in the park’ either- but I digress.
The Walkability Test put forth five questions with a rating scale from 1-6.
1- being awful 2- many problems 3) some problems 4) good 5) very good 6) excellent
The first question was: Did you have room to walk?
Now, the test itself supplied ready-made answers but you could also inject your own and that is what I will do here.
As I made my way down the highway, I did have room to walk, however, there are no sidewalks along Bluffton Road and there is way too much traffic for a safe walk for the following people; those with children of any age, the elderly, or the disabled. I would imagine a spry young thing like one of my kids who are in their thirties would not have a problem unless they were knocked off the road by a swearing truck driver or a listless matron who is talking on a cell phone. Bike riders! Beware!
2) Was it easy to cross streets? The day that I decided to walk it had been raining and was still sprinkling off and on. Did I know enough to come in out of the rain. Apparently not. Did I try to cross Bluffton Road? Yes, at the intersection of Old Trail Road and Bluffton Road where an area liquor store resides. I did not enter the store although it might have been required after my harrowing sprint across the busy road. There are traffic signals there but they are made for cars, not walkers or bikers. I was glad to see that the local firehouse was nearby in case of accident. Rating: 3
3) Did drivers behave well? As I made my way down Bluffton Road there are several houses that line up. To protect the manner-quotient of the people involved I will not pinpoint the house where the following took place. A car began to ram out of its driveway. When the driver saw me he turned around and started waving. I waved back, thinking he might actually be showing friendliness. I was wrong. He kept waving furiously-apparently to make me hurry it along. And revved up his motor. The best part and most courteous, I felt, was when he rolled down the window and shouted a few things that will be left unsaid.
That said, Bluffton Road is way too busy to walk along, especially at certain times of the day. People drive too fast and will not yield to walkers or bikers. Walkers and bikers on the Bluffton Road are a source of merriment and contempt.
4) Was it easy for you and your child to follow safety rules. NO! Throw safety rules out the window on Bluffton Road-never walk with a child or elderly person on the Bluffton Road. You would be safer in a horse and buggy.
5) Was your walk pleasant? Here are some of the criteria that was listed on the Walkability test that would insure a pleasant walk. Did the area need more grass, flowers, or trees? Were there any scary dogs? Were there any scary people? Was it well-lit? Was there lots of litter or trash? Was there lots of air pollution due to auto exhaust?
Let me just say that there is lots of grass, but no paths or trails. There were no scary dogs-this time. There were lots of scary people. It is well-lit along Bluffton Road at noon. There is a lot of trash along the side of the road. Lady Bird Johnson would be rolling in her grave. Yes, air pollution did exist, but not overtly. My walk was not pleasant primarily because there is really no place to walk or bike on the Bluffton Road. The rain didn’t help either.
Here is how the Walkability Test scores your ratings.
26-30 Celebrate! You have a great neighborhood for walking
21-25 Celebrate a little. Your neighborhood is pretty good
16-20 Ok, but it needs work
11-15 It needs lots of work. You deserve better than that.
5-10 It’s a disaster for walking.
After adding up my score my Waynedale Walkability Test strolling from the intersection of Bluffton Road and Lower Huntington Road to the intersection of Old Trail and Bluffton and back came to a resounding 11.
Kinda sad, huh?
Yes, it is and next time we will discuss solutions. But, before I go, I would like to add that there are lots of great places to walk in Waynedale, but most of them are not very close to grocery stores, drug stores, or other places that need to be visited on a regular basis.
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