Where the sidewalk ends….

February 19, 2012 at 8:22 am Leave a comment

Yesterday was a beautiful Winter day to go outside and take a long family walk with the dog.  Our neighborhood was built with sidewalks, but for some reason a few of them abruptly end.  They remind of me of the infamous ‘bridge to nowhere’ and are the inspiration to this blog post, and Shel Silverstein reference.

I don’t quite understand why the sidewalk stops along the busiest part of our route around the neighborhood.  As you can see in the picture, it just ends….but it is met with a path that has been etched in the grass by Bill’s power wheelchair.  You can clearly see Bill’s trajectory from where the sidewalk ends to the other corner, where it just so happens to begin again.  Why not just connect the two forgotten ends?

In other spots, we have a connected sidewalk, but no curb cuts.  In order to cross the street, one must go off the sidewalk, through the portion of grass and navigate the swell, into the street and then repeat to get to the other side and sidewalk.

This is certainly not a complete streets approach.  Not only is this cumbersome for a person navigating the sidewalk with a mobility device, it is problematic for someone pushing a stroller, cyclists, joggers and even skateboarders.  Instead, we either have to traverse the change in terrain or go into the street, losing some of the safety that we gain with the sidewalk.  The completion of the sidewalk with curb cuts would be more universally designed, benefiting the majority of users, and provide for a more livable community overall.

Do you have unfinished sidewalks in your neighborhood?

How ‘livable’ is your community?

 
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Entry filed under: Accessibility, Livable Communities, Universal Design. Tags: , , , , , , .

Water, water everywhere….but only if you can access the faucet! Imagine what it would be like to have your first mammogram…while seated in a wheelchair (2012 update)

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