The sidewalk along northwest corner of the Brookline St./Dedham St. intersection is currently unpassable, due to the large construction project to rebuild the stretch of Dedham St. that includes the Brookline St., Carlson Ave., and Nahanton St. intersections. But, there is no protected pedestrian alternative. You stumble along in the dirt or you walk in the road — at your peril.

It should simply be standard procedure that any time a stretch of sidewalk is under construction that a protected path be created, even if it means installing Jersey barriers to create a safe walkway in the street. At this particular intersection, the opening is over 75 feet wide: plenty of space for the two travel lanes, a pedestrian path, and some sort of barrier. Even if there weren’t, the Department of Public Works needs to create space for pedestrians, even if it means narrowing the intersection to one lane and detouring vehicle traffic.

As the video illustrates, the dug-up sidewalk without a safe alternative created a risk for at least the weekend. The risk is not just that someone might get hurt. Perhaps as importantly, the failure to provide a safe passage acts to discourage people from walking in their neighborhood.

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