Take a stroll across the bridge. Walk there with your kids -- they'll enjoy it, too. It's one of the last free thrills outside an amusement park.
About 30 people attended, most from the West End side of the tracks. I counted myself and three other residents from the north side. Considering how the Liberty Street and Charlotte Street connections to Harrisburg Pike are going to impact our neighborhood, the lack of attendance was astonishing. Perhaps people feel this is a done deal that nothing can alter. But everyone's input is still very important.
Long-time residents have said this was always a quiet neighborhood. Only during shift changes at Armstrong was there any traffic, but only for short times. That's going to change in a big way when the new streets are built. A man from the West End side said the new roads will help ease traffic congestion on other streets. Well, the funny thing about new roads is, they quickly become overloaded too. We need to preserve this walkable, healthy neighborhood and put pedestrians first.
When you watch the video above, listen as well to how quiet it is. No vehicle noise or stench. The loss of the pedestrian bridge speaks loudly about where our priorities are. More and more vehicles are on the road, polluting the air with fumes and pulverized rubber and noise, depriving people of healthy, safe opportunities to walk or bicycle, and robbing communities of the clean, fresh air of green space.
I liked the General's scenario of a pedestrian-oriented campus, and said so. I added that it could link with the existing rail trail (also known as the linear park) into the downtown. A man sitting in front of me leaned over to his neighbor and jeered that the city had sold a big part of that rail line. Even so, the trail exists and should be used and enjoyed and, if possible (yes, it's possible!) expanded across Harrisburg Pike into the new development.
F&M and LGH have a wonderful opportunity to develop this land in a healthy, innovative way. I believe they understand that more and more people want "green" lifestyle alternatives, including walking or biking to work and around their homes and neighborhoods. It will be interesting to see what happens next.