by Marlene Berlin
Not having a sidewalk on the east side of Reno Road between Rodman and Tilden was an accident waiting to happen.
Runners and walkers heading north on Reno had a choice to make when they reached the sidewalk’s end at Rodman Street. Thick vegetation would eventually prevent them from continuing on, so they could try to cross to the other side of Reno, with poor visibility and no traffic light. Or, they could continue running/walking on the road, where traffic can pick up a good head of steam as it heads downhill and rounds the corner to the Tilden intersection.
Cathy Wiss, while an ANC 3F commissioner, pushed hard for such a sidewalk. She also urged Iona’s Sidewalk Gap Project to recommend sidewalks on both sides of “main” streets, which is how DDOT classifies collectors like Fessenden, minor arterials like Reno Road and arterials like Connecticut Avenue.
The rationale was the “safety hazard” clause in the Priority Sidewalk Assurance Act of 2010 (PDF). Ms. Wiss recently emailed ANC 3F chair Adam Tope 3F again requesting a sidewalk for this block of Reno Road. After Labor Day her friend, an 86-year-old jogger, was hit by a motorist while she crossed Reno in a crosswalk at Porter – to avoid this section along Reno.
DDOT is still working on their list of priority sidewalk gaps for the whole city, and the federal shutdown has slowed the process to obligate about $2 million of federal monies to fund filling gaps for this fiscal year. So when and if this particular sidewalk gap would get attention was anybody’s guess.
But lo and behold, driving on Reno this past Saturday morning, I saw a sidewalk going in along this stretch. Chalk up another victory for the sidewalk huggers!