Zach Champ, owner of INSPIRE, a digital media company in Fredericksburg, shares his harrowing experience of being involved in a severe accident on Chatham Bridge.
He asks the Fredericksburg City Council to take immediate action and complete a sidewalk for the safety of all.
UNSAFE PEDESTRIAN CROSSING:
The intersection of Naomi Road and the beginning of the Stafford side of Chatham Bridge. Dangerous conditions due to poorly maintained erosion making the pedestrian crossing hazardous.
A heavily eroded 10ft stretch of road with no sidewalk. As a result, pedestrians are forced to cross the street without protection, endangering their lives.
"I was riding my electric bike down Chatham Bridge Monday May 8th at 9pm. I was returning home from the Massad YMCA where I shower and work-out.
While riding my bike down the road, a car approached me at a high speed. I was concerned the car's mirror might clip the side of my leg, so I rode off the bike lane momentarily into the right of way adjacent to the bike lane.
Unfortunately, I did not see the heavy erosion in that right of way area, and my bike's front tire was caught in a ditch in the ground.
I was immediately thrown to the ground at 25mph and hit the asphalt. I am lucky to be alive, I thought I died. I ended up breaking my leg and ankle which required corrective surgery so I can walk again."
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED:
1. Temporary repair
Any temporary repairs need to be made as soon as possible to avoid any future accidents and injuries.
2. Long-term solution
Fixing this hazardous area requires a permanent solution that involves a complete overhaul of the area with immediate effect.
(Where the bulldozer is in this picture is the same location of the heavily eroded pothole, and this photo is only from 2021! It's only been two years, and the area has already become a ditch when it should be a clear stretch of right of way.)
AVOIDING FUTURE ACCIDENTS:
Chatham Bridge is connected to a heavily used pedestrian walkway, so it's important to maintain the road and ensure the safety of pedestrians.
To prevent any further erosion and potential accidents, we need to pave over this area and place a sidewalk that will allow water to sheet off the surface and into the wood line.
THE BENEFITS OF A SIDEWALK:
A sidewalk on Chatham Bridge would provide numerous benefits, including:
Protects pedestrians and bikers from hazards associated with poorly maintained roads.
Provides a safe and accessible path for pedestrians and builds a more connected community.
Added Economic Value
A sidewalk adds value to our community and enhances the surrounding areas' aesthetic appeal.
IT MAKES MORE SENSE TO DESIGN DOWNTOWN FXBG AROUND PEDESTRIAN MOVEMENT VERSUS AUTOMOBILE TRAFFIC!
It's clear that this area of Chatham Bridge is unsafe, and action is required to prevent future injuries. A sidewalk will ensure pedestrian safety and promote connectivity and community building in Fredericksburg. It will allow people to safely travel from Stafford into the City of Fredericksburg across the Rappahannock River.
At the end of the day, it's just COMMON FUCKING SENSE. 🙄
It's time to take action and make our city safer for everyone!