Parks and other outdoor spaces have seen a big increase in use during the pandemic as people see them as safe spaces to exercise and play.
But residents of one Northwest D.C. neighborhood found accessing these outdoor areas to be a challenge. They have been walking blocks to enjoy a nearby park in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Residents and students have had to face the dangers of two streets: Eastern Avenue, the D.C. border, and Blair Road, in Montgomery County.
The crosswalk at Eastern Avenue and Juniper Street was so beat-up and faded it was almost invisible. There were repair requests dating back to 2020.
Last summer, D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Evan Yeats pushed to make that walk to the park in Silver Spring safer for students and others.
Yeats pressed officials on the repair requests and contacted Montgomery County.
The result was a new crosswalk on Blair Road. Drivers now are stopping for people in the crosswalk.
But the condition of the crosswalk remains the same on Eastern Avenue.
In early September, Yeats received a response from the District Department of Transportation in which they asked for 60 to 90 days to do what’s called a Safe Routes To School assessment.
Now, under a bill introduced before the D.C. Council, the D.C. crosswalk that gets a lot of foot traffic could actually qualify for being made a raised crosswalk.
"This was probably a great crosswalk at one point, but we just need to be able to have a plan to check on these things regularly," Yeats said.