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tags: blog it's simple environment car culture distopia

MY BLOG

by MATT GARVIN

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SIDEWALKS

If there is a road, there should be a sidewalk. It's that simple. If we build something for cars, we need to build something for pedestrians, too. Ideally on both sides of the street, but at a minimum on one side. There should be no roads without a safe way for people to walk. Period. Even on highways or places that people are unlikely to walk: Build a sidewalk. I have feet at the ends of my legs, and I should have the option of using them to get around. Full stop. This is not complicated. The way we build things it is like cars come first and humans a distant second. It's the ol' "tail wagging the dog" mentality.

In residential areas it is even more important to have sidewalks. Here, they should be on both sides of the street. It is a safety issue, and it is a "know thy neighbor" issue. We are social creatures... People need to mingle. People need to get exercise. Moms need to be able to walk with a stroller and feel safe, as do dog walkers, joggers, the elderly, the disabled, and, well, everyone. Residential areas should put people first and cars second. It is inexcusable that in some very nice neighborhoods, with some very expensive homes, they sometimes lack sidewalks. It is also inexcusable in poorer neighborhoods, but the poor get screwed over regularly, so no big surprise there. But why don't rich people see the need for pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods? This is a no-brainer. Where did we lose our way?

I saw a mom pushing a baby buggy up a steep hill in a residential neighborhood recently. She was in the road, which had a miniscule shoulder, and no sidewalk anywhere to be seen. Cars were whizzing by her. She never turned, or reacted, even with her back to the cars. She just forged ahead, pushing her buggy up a hill; it was a struggle. She counted on herself and the little one being seen and avoided as cars flew by. Their lives were in others' hands. It made me nervous as hell. God help her in the winter! It's so simple. If you can build a road, you can build a sidewalk. Boom, I figured it out.


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