Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

No sidewalks

Expand Messages
  • Korn, Dan
    ... Well, I m not sure where you re from, Greg, but I m surprised that you haven t seen a place like that. I see it all the time, especially here in the
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 30 2:44 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      gregb88@... writes:
      >I've never seen a place
      >without sidewalks so I can't imagine one... how would you go for a walk
      >living in a place like that?. You might be able to walk straight on the
      >road among traffic, I suppose... But that could be dangerous if traffic
      >is heavy...

      Well, I'm not sure where you're from, Greg, but I'm surprised that you haven't seen a place like that. I see it all the time, especially here in the United States of Automobiles. It's not usually a problem in closer suburbs, but (depending on the city), once you get out more into the "exurbs," or "the boonies," as I like to call them, you have a lot of completely car-centric development where you'll have a Wal-Mart surrounded by a cornfield and there's no sidewalk to be seen anywhere. You only have to go about thirty or forty miles from downtown Chicago to find places like this, where the main roads, and often even the residential roads, have no sidewalks. Sometimes you'll be walking on a sidewalk from an intersection or otherwise moderately pedestrian-accommodating place, and the sidewalk will just end abruptly. (Shel Silverstein wasn't just using a metaphor.) People do indeed walk in the street if they're not driving or cycling, and it is dangerous. Lack of sidewalks is a major problem in this country.

      Even in Ann Arbor (where I used to live), a fairly cosmopolitan place and a big college town with decent public transportation and cycling facilities, there are several roads with no sidewalks, and I often used to walk the two miles to my job in downtown Ann Arbor along a fairly major four-lane road (Main Street south of Stadium) with only a dirt path forged by the few pedestrians and mountain-bikers who dared to tread there (sometimes dealing with harassment from the people whose lawns you had to walk across because they went all the way to the curb.) I'm much happier to be in the big city now, obviously.

      Here's some more info from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center on the "no sidewalks" phenomenon:
      http://www.walkinginfo.org/cps/guide_issue2.htm

      If you want to see some pictures of places with no sidewalks, just Google:
      http://images.google.com/images?q=no+sidewalk
      http://images.google.com/images?q=no+sidewalks

      Dan
      Chicago
    • Matt
      ... I think about this problem frequently because I live 25 miles outside of Philadelphia where this dilemma is substantial. However, I don t think the
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 30 9:25 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        --- "Korn, Dan" <dkorn@...> wrote:
        > especially here in the United States of Automobiles. It's not
        > usually a problem in closer suburbs, but (depending on the city),
        > once you get out more into the "exurbs," or "the boonies," as I like
        > to call them, you have a lot of completely car-centric development
        > where you'll have a Wal-Mart surrounded by a cornfield and there's no
        > sidewalk to be seen anywhere.
        ...
        > metaphor.) People do indeed walk in the street if they're not
        > driving or cycling, and it is dangerous. Lack of sidewalks is a
        > major problem in this country.
        ...
        > dared to tread there (sometimes dealing with harassment from the
        > people whose lawns you had to walk across because they went all the
        > way to the curb.)


        I think about this problem frequently because I live 25 miles
        outside of Philadelphia where this dilemma is substantial. However, I
        don't think the carfree community should expect to have sidewalks
        wherever they go. Instead, I think the problem is the attitude of the
        average landowner. I am one of those who cuts across people's lawns in
        order to get myself from place to place, and I do so with pride, as
        though it is the oldest human right. The problem occurs when land
        becomes private property, which then greedily monopolizes every
        available inch adjacent to every menacing highway, leaving no public
        space for the carfree to safely exist.
        Personally, I wouldn't mind cutting thru that private cornfield to
        get to the Wal Mart. I believe the owner of the cornfield, as well as
        all landowners, should be tolerant of "tresspassers" who merely seek
        passage. Unfortunately, the long-standing trend of colonization
        supports the egotist who fences off his square of suburban land,
        denying its access from the rest of the world.
        The carfree movement, although virtuous and beautiful, is still
        very underground and ineffectual. Carfree individuals are doomed if
        their happiness depends on converting the masses and their
        infrastructure. The best approach, so it seems to me, is to adapt. I
        have learned so far that freight railroad tracks make excellent walking
        paths, out of the sight of traffic, yet still traversing key areas.
        And instead of being harrassed by the railroad worker who sees me
        there, I get a friendly wave.
        --Matt





        __________________________________
        Do you Yahoo!?
        Y! Messenger - Communicate in real time. Download now.
        http://messenger.yahoo.com
      • tomfrostjr
        ... TF: I was raised 20 miles outside Philadelphia in a suburban neighborhood without sidewalks, and it didn t seem to discourage anybody an iota from walking.
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 31 5:10 AM
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, Matt <axoplasm@y...> wrote:
          > I think about this problem frequently because I live 25 miles
          > outside of Philadelphia where this dilemma is substantial.


          TF: I was raised 20 miles outside Philadelphia in a suburban
          neighborhood without sidewalks, and it didn't seem to discourage
          anybody an iota from walking.


          > However, I
          > don't think the carfree community should expect to have sidewalks
          > wherever they go. Instead, I think the problem is the attitude of
          the
          > average landowner. I am one of those who cuts across people's lawns
          in
          > order to get myself from place to place, and I do so with pride, as
          > though it is the oldest human right.


          TF: We kids routinely cut across everybody's property (usually for
          shortcuts, not to avoid the streets; the streets were of ample width
          for the amount of traffic).

          One of these shortcuts was official, and good for cycling also: The
          elementary school built a path through the woods next to it to
          provide a shortcut for all of us walking and cycling to school. By
          the late '60s the path was no longer through woods, because more
          streets full of houses had been built there (and that was the point
          at which, I realized decades later, the path ceased to be defensible
          under Foresterian principles because the presence of one of the new
          streets introduced the need for additional questionably-vehicular
          maneuvers by path users). When I visited in 2003, the path looked
          rather unused; I guess everybody gets chaufferred to school by their
          mommies now.

          But even when we're staying on the road (my preference since the
          early '80s for "real" transportation), I'm _still_ not concerned
          about lack of sidewalks. The problem is not the attitude of
          landowners but rather, the attitude of motorists, many of whom
          continue to come at you even when they've seen you and it isn't
          convenient for you to step aside. Several years ago, when a sidewalk
          full of snow forced me to walk in the roadway of a busy arterial for
          a half mile, I should have had a video camera; it would have recorded
          a half dozen people to throw in jail for attempted murder _and_
          revoke the driver's licences of for life.


          (snip)
          > I
          > have learned so far that freight railroad tracks make excellent
          walking
          > paths, out of the sight of traffic, yet still traversing key areas.
          > And instead of being harrassed by the railroad worker who sees me
          > there, I get a friendly wave.


          TF: 90% of my brain development occurred during walks along the
          freight railroad that ran through my above-described childhood
          neighborhood. Of course I heard about one kid getting electrocuted
          there, but that's a small price to pay for not having the obesity of
          these days.


          - Tom Frost Jr.
        • M. Barbee
          ... walk ... on the ... traffic ... you haven t seen a place like that. I see it all the time, especially here in the United States of Automobiles. It s not
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 1, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Korn, Dan" <dkorn@d...> wrote:
            > gregb88@c... writes:
            > >I've never seen a place
            > >without sidewalks so I can't imagine one... how would you go for a
            walk
            > >living in a place like that?. You might be able to walk straight
            on the
            > >road among traffic, I suppose... But that could be dangerous if
            traffic
            > >is heavy...
            >
            > Well, I'm not sure where you're from, Greg, but I'm surprised that
            you haven't seen a place like that. I see it all the time,
            especially here in the United States of Automobiles. It's not
            usually a problem in closer suburbs, but (depending on the city),
            once you get out more into the "exurbs," or "the boonies," as I like
            to call them, you have a lot of completely car-centric development
            where you'll have a Wal-Mart surrounded by a cornfield and there's no
            sidewalk to be seen anywhere. You only have to go about thirty or
            forty miles from downtown Chicago to find places like this, where the
            main roads, and often even the residential roads, have no sidewalks.
            Sometimes you'll be walking on a sidewalk from an intersection or
            otherwise moderately pedestrian-accommodating place, and the sidewalk
            will just end abruptly. (Shel Silverstein wasn't just using a
            metaphor.) People do indeed walk in the street if they're not
            driving or cycling, and it is dangerous. Lack of sidewalks is a
            major problem in this country.
            >
            > Dan
            > Chicago

            There's a lot of places in Northern Virginia and I would imagine the
            same in Maryland within 10 miles of downtown Washington, DC that lack
            sidewalks. Often this happens on quiet residential streets so its
            not that big of a problem, but I know one major street where there is
            no sidewalk on one side of the street and therefore pedestrians are
            forced to go out of their way to use a side walk to reach locations
            down the street on that side of the street if they are going from one
            location on that side of the street to another location on that side
            of the street. In fact, now that I think about it, there are a lot
            of areas along that stretch of road where the side walk ends and one
            is forced to walk in the grass or road. This is less than 5 miles
            from DC.
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.