A snow plow clears a lane as a family plays in their front yard in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

I appreciated David Alpert’s Feb. 7 Local Opinions essay, “Walkers were left out in the cold,” which highlighted Fairfax County and the Virginia Department of Transportation’s disinterest in clearing sidewalks after the recent snowstorm.

However, the issue is even more fundamental. Other than in commercial areas, many neighborhoods in Fairfax County are devoid of sidewalks. Even without snow, it is normal for residents to walk in the street if they want to get around on foot, which I find astounding given that this is purportedly one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the country.

In my neighborhood, not only do you see people walking their dogs, chatting with neighbors and jogging in the street, but you also see young children using the street for play and to ride their bikes, which clearly is asking for trouble when cars race by.

Developing walkable communities should be a priority for enhancing the quality of life in the county. If residents really want to escape the legacy of outmoded development concepts, then shaking up the Board of Supervisors would be a good start. 

Tony Gorman, Falls Church