GUIZERIX: A case for a sidewalk on Hall’s Ferry Road
Published 4:00 am Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Miracles happen all over the world every day, and Vicksburg is no exception.
In this case, a daily set of miracles takes place on Hall’s Ferry Road, just south of Marcus Bottom, every time a pedestrian walks down the middle of the road and isn’t taken out by a speeding soccer mom in a Tahoe.
There’s no question that this section of Hall’s Ferry is one of Vicksburg’s busiest thoroughfares; cars traveling downtown pass through it, cars traveling to Pemberton and its many shops pass through it, and a staggering number of people dare to traverse it on foot.
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Given the area’s steep slopes on either side, which make it treacherous enough for motorists to exercise extreme caution, and the high level of foot traffic, it seems as though a sidewalk would have been implemented.
A drive through the area shows a dirt footpath in the spots where it’s possible for pedestrians to walk on the side of the road. That’s somewhat safe.
But between Division Street and the Confederate Avenue bridge, there’s almost no way to ensure pedestrian safety as walkers are forced to take their chances in the middle of the road.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, “Annually, around 4,500 pedestrians are killed in traffic crashes with motor vehicles in the United States. Pedestrians killed while ‘walking along the roadway’ account for almost 8 percent of these deaths. Many of these tragedies are preventable. Providing walkways separated from the travel lanes could help to prevent up to 88 percent of these walking along roadway crashes.”
Roadways without sidewalks are more than twice as likely to have pedestrian crashes as sites with sidewalks on both sides of the street.
With the price of gas skyrocketing, more people are turning to walking as a means to get from Point A to Point B. It seems only right that, for those who have no other option, our leaders take it upon themselves to solve this issue before the good luck of so many pedestrians along Hall’s Ferry Road runs out.
So yes, a few dozen miracles happen on Hall’s Ferry Road between Division Street and Confederate Avenue. But the thing is, eventually, good fortune will find itself spent. Let’s hope that good fortune doesn’t run out at the expense of an innocent pedestrian.