Walk down East Street in Westwood toward the Islington train station and pedestrians have no choice.
Going under the train tracks is required. Walkers must walk along a narrow and unlighted sidewalk that has nothing between the walkers and the cars, which will eventually turn into a serious accident.
This is dangerous.
It is the only way which Islington pedestrians can get to the station.
School buses stop in the same intersection and stop just a few feet from the bridge: still more danger.
In winter, snow makes the bridge even more difficult: danger again.
When darkness falls, there is still more peril.
Standing only 10 feet 6 inches, it is a bridge that regularly gets hit by tall trucks. And it is so narrow that is makes drivers nervous.
One of the recent cars involved was a 2007 Mercedes that went up the sidewalk and banged into the wall. An ambulance took the driver to Norwood Caritas Hospital. This accident had nothing to do with the height of the passageway. Narrowness was the problem.
Luckily, no pedestrians were in the bridge when the Mercedes went out of control. They would have been defenseless.
That simply cannot be the only defense for walkers – be lucky.
Protection for pedestrians is a joke.
Nothing protects walkers. As a matter of fact, the sidewalk gets narrower where the giant rocks that hold up the bridge budge out. Two walkers going in opposite directions cannot pass safely; one must defer to the other, or step into the road. No fence, no rail, nothing to save the pedestrian from the cars.
Of course the driver who is rattled by the narrow width of the roadway under the bridge will be made even more unsettled if a walker is stepping along this sidewalk with no room.
If a big vehicle like a pickup truck or something even larger comes along, all parties have their unease ratcheted up a few notches.
One solution might be putting a well constructed set of stairs on the side of the bridge nearest the Fire Station (oh, another danger) and the busy baseball, basketball and tennis area. And there should be another set of stairs on the other side. At the rails, a walkway could be build. No one will ever have to walk under the trains again.
By no means will this stop all accidents.
It will stop making pedestrians defenseless.