Keeping Pathways Clear

Erin Ray, a Girl Scout from Allandale, has recently completed her Gold Star project about Keeping Pathways Clear in neighborhoods.

This is an important subject in Wooten, especially for our elderly and mobility impaired neighbors, as well as for anyone who wants to safely use the sidewalks.

Thank you, Erin, for sharing your research with us! Read below or download the article here.

Erin Ray Keeping Pathways Clear

Find Out How You Can Help Your Neighborhood!

Improve the safety, accessibility, and comfort of your neighborhood today

Right of way

The Big Picture: When you go on walks in the neighborhood, have you ever had to step off the sidewalk because of low hanging branches? Or tripped on vegetation growing over the sidewalk or curb? Or when you’re driving in the neighborhood, have you ever had to pull into the cross street to look for oncoming traffic because of an overgrown hedge? Or accidently ran a stop sign because it was hidden from view by some overgrowth?

These encounters could force someone to go into oncoming traffic when they wouldn’t have otherwise or even not be able to make full use of the sidewalk in the case of those who need wheelchairs or other mobility aids. These compound into a high potential for causing accidents, causing people to stay indoors, and causing an overall sense of discontent.

What You Can Do to Help: The problem of overgrowth into the right of way is one that is easily overlooked until after such an accident occurs, so I would like your help in acting preemptively. You can easily get involved by doing a few simple things:

  1. Take a walk around your property and noting the plants, bushes, and trees extending into the sidewalks and/or beyond the curb (especially with these dimensions in mind: vegetation should be 8 feet above the sidewalk and 14 feet above the street).
  2. Simply prune back the areas that interfere with accessibility and/or visibility (a quick google search on pruning or asking the employees at The Natural Gardener can help immensely).
  3. If you have a good rapport with your neighbors and notice an issue, please let them know what they can do to help as well.

Why You Should Help: This past year, 2018, I surveyed 70 streets and almost 1900 homes in my neighborhood of Allandale. At the start of the year, 50% had issues with vegetation blocking the right of way. Now, a year later, that number has been reduced to 35% that still have issues with overgrowth into the right of way. With these results, Allandale has become a safer, more accessible, and comfortable neighborhood!

This benefited the residents and visitors to our neighborhood by making it easier for people to get out and be active by reducing vegetation that blocks the right-of-way. This, in turn, will improve physical and mental well being, increase neighbor interactions and safety, and improve the quality of our neighborhood.

By maintaining the care and health of the vegetation on your property, you can double the amount of usable sidewalks, increase safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles, as well as provide shade, improve air quality, and keep your neighborhood comfortable.

I wanted to share the results of Allandale’s success to motivate more people and communities to take the initiative to improve their grounds for the benefit of all.

If you have any questions, please contact: