When my husband and I moved to Massachusetts nine years ago, one of the reasons we chose to buy an apartment in Brookline (as opposed to a more suburban or rural area where we could afford ample closet space and square feet) was because we wanted to enjoy a relatively car-free lifestyle. We moved here from New York City, where having a car was more of a liability than an asset, and when we were looking to buy our first place together in greater Boston, we knew we wanted a similar neighborhood—one where everything we needed was walking distance: shops, restaurants, entertainment, and healthcare. We chose Naples Road in North Brookline in part because there was a Star market up the road where Naples meets Commonwealth Avenue in Allston.

To reach Star Market directly it’s necessary to cross Commonwealth Avenue at a very congested thoroughfare, step over the MBTA train tracks on the “B” line, and then cross more busy lanes of traffic to get to the supermarket. Although there is a sign posted prohibiting pedestrians from crossing this portion of the train tracks, I’ve never seen anyone—students, neighbors, young or old people—actually observe the sign.

The most compelling reason to risk life and limb to cross three lanes of traffic and two train tracks is that the alternative is a much more convoluted path. I did an informal count on my smart phone’s stopwatch, walking down Commonwealth to Packard’s Corner and crossing at the legal crosswalk there, then doubling back to Star.

It took me almost six minutes to get to Star via the crosswalk at Packard’s Corner (5 minutes, 53 seconds to be exact.) When I crossed the illegal way, it took a mere 35 seconds. Depending on traffic that 35 seconds could increase, but not to the point that it would come anywhere near the length of time it takes to cross legally.

So what’s an extra five minutes? Not a big deal if you are walking unencumbered in pleasant weather. But try doing it this winter, when the cold and snow and ice were a constant menace. Then try doing it with five bags of groceries slung about your body, as I so often do. Five minutes can feel like an eternity.

I’m not alone in wishing for a crosswalk at Naples Road. One of my neighbors, Rebecca Albrecht, has started a petition to James Gillooly, deputy commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department, for a crosswalk at Naples Road. As of the end of March Albrecht’s petition had 101 signatures and counting. She reported that Senator Brownberger and Scott Englander from the Brookline Transportation Board are also in favor of a crosswalk. I recently added my signature to the petition collection box Albrecht has displayed on her front porch.

If you would also like to see a crosswalk at the end of Naples Road, I urge you to

email me at editor@brooklinehub.com. I will put you in touch with Ms. Albrecht to sign her petition. We love the walk-ability of our town—let’s make it easier and safer, too.

—Jennifer Campaniolo