Safe sidewalks and crossing zones vital

Amid flashing lights, screeching tires and a near miss, some how students manage to cross at 17th Street and Ninth Avenue before the light changes.

Right-of-way is not something taken seriously in Altoona. In fact, many students have the right-of-way with a walking pedestrian signal. However, many drivers ignore those signs, and the students are left to fend for themselves as to whether they can make it across the street safely or not.

The questions arises as to how this can be fixed. Rather simply, actually. Officials could easily reprogram the signs to be pedestrian crossing only with a red light for traffic.

This has long been a practice in most cities. If we want to compete with other cities, we need to be as pedestrian friendly as possible, especially with local businesses who benefit from foot traffic. As a person who drives around the city often, I have seen people try to cross at various intersections, near the junior high, on Wopsononock Avenue, at 17th Street and Pleasant Valley Boulevard, by the Boyer Candy factory and people are literally stranded until someone stops.

Even if you do stop, the car next to your lane might not. This is a true hazard and makes Altoona look like a free-for-all. We can change this with a few extra lights, a switch of programming on the lights and a few extra painted crossing lines and stop signs.

I would love to see Altoona take the next step toward attracting more businesses and people to our area by putting our own first and making a difference in the quality of our lives.

Emily Dimov-Gottshall



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