Saturday, November 13, 2004

Urban/Suburban Sprawl and Me
Finally someone somewhat influential understands why I hate walking along roads without sidewalks! Howard Frumkin of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health states what I have noticed for the last year or two. The modern city is not built for the individual pedestrain/bicycler. This started with the advent of the modern international highway system. Unfortunately this meant that the time of the pedestrian and bicyclist were nearing an end (with the exception of the bike/pedestrian trails of modern fame). I remember the many times I walked I hated walking along roads that had virtually no sidewalk to speak of and even more cars. There were times that I was extremely worried that I would get run over and had a few near misses. Now that I'm a driver, I hate driving because of this. I have other reason for despising driving as well.

When they began making housing further and further away from the essentials for city development (schools, employment, daily essentials) people would walk less and less. Those very people probably almost never walk except occasionally if they are in a mall or a fair.

I want to hear from my other friends who didn't drive for at least a year after high school. What do you think?


Moueska said...

As someone who still isn't really driving, I can say that I miss having some way to get from once place to another. Urban sprawl, in West County, would appear to be the work of the Devil... I can't get from Point A to Point B.

But it's true... The modern city is made for drivers, which, in effect, sucks. With everyone in a hurry, they don't seem to care that they put a bus stop, which is supposed to be near a work-division, on the side of a highway with no sidewalks or crosswalks. Being that this would be the bus that our Grandma would use to get out to Fenton, how can she use it? Answer? She can't.

I really, really wish that there was some way to lobby for sidewalks as a normal part of life, even if it's just a concrete slab next to the street for normal people so they don't have to walk on the curb when it's too muddy to stand on the grass.

T said...

I'm with Moues, as I'm not an official driver yet.
That's one thing I didn't like when I took the bus from the River Des Peres to the Education Center in Mehlville. I actually walked from home all the way to Mehlville for school, then back home. I did that because it was shorter than waiting for the bus. It was quite a workout and may explain how I lost some weight after high school.
But back to the subject at hand. There were some sidewalks in the neighborhoods, but anywhere else, and good luck! Especially near the apartments where Von used to live.

Jess said...

I would like sidewalks to come back, big-time. Remember all the fifties-style suburbs where every yard had a sidewalk running through it? That, but all over.