The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 22, 1999


Are coyotes safer than children on Carlisle streets?

Strict zoning requirements coupled with large amounts of conservation land have made Carlisle a haven for many forms of wildlife and vegetation. People have also discovered the town's charm, and the construction of new homes increases each year. Newcomers to Carlisle and the increased traffic their cars generate are making it more difficult for existing residents to take a neighborhood stroll. You rarely see baby carriages on East, South, or West streets. As noted in an August editorial in the Mosquito, even children who live near the Carlisle Public School cannot walk home safely any more.

How walkable are our streets for children? State Senator Susan C. Fargo is very concerned that the children in Massachusetts cannot safely take a walk. She believes that towns are letting existing sidewalks deteriorate and are not building new ones. To increase public awareness, Senator Fargo's office has released a checklist to enable citizens to rate their walkways.

So review the checklist, take a 15-minute walk with a child, and record your results. You'll be able to decide for yourself how Carlisle's sidewalks rate. If you send us your completed survey by November 1, you'll be entered into a drawing for a Mosquito t-shirt. We'll tally the overall town response for publication in the November 12 issue. Send all surveys to: Walkable America Checklist; P.O. Box 46; Carlisle, MA, 01741.

Enjoy the foliage!

Walkable America Checklist

Please fill in the blanks (so we can send you your prize if you win!):

Adult name______________________


Walk location____________________

Rating scale

1 = awful

2 = quite a few problems

3 = some problems

4 = good

5 = very good

6 = excellent

To respond to each question, circle one number using the rating scale. If you circle 1, 2, or 3, check off applicable choices to further describe your experience.

1. Did you have room to walk?

1 2 3 4 5 6

__a. Sidewalks started and stopped

__b. Sidewalks were broken or cracked

__c. Sidewalks were blocked with poles, signs, shrubbery, dumpsters, etc.

__d. No sidewalks, paths, or shoulders

__e. Too much traffic

2. Was it easy to cross streets?

1 2 3 4 5 6

__a. Road too wide

__b. Traffic made us wait too long or did not give us enough time to cross

__c. Crosswalks/traffic signals needed

__d. View of traffic blocked by parked cars, trees, or plants

__e. Needed curb ramps or ramps needed repair

3. Did drivers behave well?

1 2 3 4 5 6

__a. Backed without looking

__b. Did not yield

__c. Turned into walkers

__d. Drove too fast

__e. Ignored posted traffic signs

4. Could you follow safety rules?

1 2 3 4 5 6

__a. Crossed at crosswalks

__b. Crossed where we could see and be seen

__c. Stopped and looked left, right, left before crossing

__d. Walked on sidewalks

__e. Walked on shoulders facing traffic

__5.Was your walk pleasant?

1 2 3 4 5 6

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito