Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sidewalks don't make it pedestrian friendly...

I had an appointment in Sandy the other day so I stopped by to take some pictures of the Sandy Pit. This new Boyer creating in a former gravel pit was very contentious but eventually Dolan and Boyer won.

Some feel that if you put sidewalks in a development it makes it pedestrian friendly. Well in this set of pictures from the pit I will show you that it takes more than sidewalks to make a place pedestrian friendly.

First of all we have a picture looking from the parking area and pharmacy drive up windows toward the housing. So far so good, as you can see you will have a sidewalk toward the development but anyone will have to cross a road with no protection to the pedestrians and we know that the drivers will not slow down.

However let's face it, how many people are going to walk over to Wal-Mart to pick up some groceries? Wal-Mart is not a pedestrian friendly store.

This next picture starts showing the real trouble. There is two parts to this development and the parts shall not meet except if your in a car.

One thing you must have make a development pedestrian friendly is the a complex that is easy to walk. Well look at the view from Wal-Mart to the smaller retailers. Do you really think people are going to walk from the small stores to Wal-Mart or visa versa? Of course not it is too far to walk in a hostile environment.

Now we look at the front of the Lowe's store. Much like Wal-Mart Lowe's is not a pedestrian friendly store. So instead of having easy access to the store even people getting out of their cars have to the face the hostile environment of the driveways and face impatient drivers.

Now this is the sidewalk leading from the small retailers to Lowe's. Once again you have to travel a great distance from the small retailers to Lowe's plus cross a major driveway that will be extremely dangerous once this complex is fully up and running. Also notice that the sidewalk doesn't even lead to the front of the Lowe's store.

If anyone plans to take their life into their own hands and try to walk from the Lowe's store to the small retailers they face this major driveway. Then they do not hit the front of the stores but instead have to continue walking because this is the back of the complex. Instead of having the whole complex face each other, it was design so that it is basically two complexes in one and not meant for a pedestrian to get from one to the other.

Now here we are in the area with the small retailers. So far so good it looks like you have sidewalks to all the retailers and they are relatively close together.

However, upon closer inspection you realize that the sidewalks are very narrow and only designed for someone to get out of their car and walk into the store. There is not much consideration given to people walking along the front of the stores.

Finally four pictures looking from the north side along the driveway to the small retailers. As you can see from the pictures the small retailers are spread apart, with a great distance from one store to another. The main focus is for someone to drive up go to that store and leave. It is not designed for people to walk the center.

In the end, the design of this center will create it's own traffic nightmares. Because the center is not designed for someone to make multiple stops in one shot, not only will you have people traveling from outside the complex in, from the complex out, but you will also create a third traffic problem with people driving from one store to another because the stores were not designed to be easily accessed by foot.

The design of this complex is hostile to the pedestrian and will only create traffic problems. One of the current problems with our transit system is that we have a area that is so hostile to the pedestrian that people are discouraged from riding transit.

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