There are many benefits that sidewalks provide individuals and the community at large. Essentially they fall into 3 categories:
Personal enjoyment & fitness
Personal Enjoyment & Fitness
Sidewalks promote walking; that’s easy to understand. Where there are sidewalks people are encouraged to walk. Walking is an enjoyable experience that allows people to visit with one another while exercising. Let’s face it, we Americans who are well fed could benefit physically from a little more exercise. You have read the stats, over 40% of Americans are overweight. Sidewalks allow moms to stroll their babies and older children can visit their friends without their parents worrying about their safety. My wife and I can enjoy an evening stroll without having to dodge cars. Belle Meade residents would also have easier access to Palmer Park, Belle Meade Country Club, St. George’s Church and Percy Warner Park.
Sidewalks separate pedestrians from motorist; that’s easy to understand too. Almost everyone in Belle Meade knows someone who has been involved in a pedestrian/auto accident. For me personally, my dog while jogging with my wife on Lynnwood was hit by a hit & run car which broke her back. I am very thankful that wife was not hurt, but the incident would never have happened if sidewalks had been installed on Lynnwood.
Sidewalks not only provide physical safety to pedestrians, but they provide security to the neighborhood. Police officers will tell you that as people begin to walk the neighborhood they act as a deterrent to crime. Think about it; would a criminal want to burglarize a house where neighbors are active?
Since sidewalks promote walking, people will begin to meet and know their neighbors better. This is easy to understand as well. Neighbors will see their neighbors walking and relationships will develop. You have heard it said, “no man is an island”; I say that “no Belle Meade resident ought to be an island”.