Suburban Assault

Widewalk

with 4 comments

Widewalk

Looking at this picture, you’d think it was taken on one of the nice multi-purpose trails that we have in Richardson. It’s wide, lined with nice grass, trees and shrubs – an ideal route for cyclists and pedestrians. It’s actually a sidewalk – or what I’m going to call, from now on, a Widewalk.

This used to be a horrible place to ride – a narrow sidewalk with many obstacles and hazards. It was next to a huge, empty parking lot that was unused for years. This parking lot has now become, what looks like, a huge technology warehouse or server farm where some of that wasted space was given back to shared usage. Brilliant! We need more thinking like this in future (re)developments.

Back when I used to ride mostly sidewalks, I would have been delighted to have more routes built like this. Unfortunately for me, this is a useless route. It was built next to this particular road, which has three lanes (each way) and very little traffic, an ideal road route for cyclists. Plus, as nice as this widewalk is, it doesn’t go very far – which puts you back on the street anyway.

This route may not be ideal for me, a practical cyclist, but it’s not wasted space. Widewalks like this will bring out more new cyclists and pedestrians – and that’s a very good thing.

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Written by dickdavid

December 18, 2012 at 7:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. that’s awesome, great word widewalk :)

    meligrosa

    December 19, 2012 at 3:28 am

  2. Such routes are based on two wheelchairs being able to pass from opposite directions. Or so Don Koski, the FW Bike Coordinator claimed. The “wave” in the pavement is, I expect, an “artistic” element.

    Steve A

    December 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm

  3. Except that bikes and pedestrians never mix well (unless you ride at a walking pace and always yield), and sidewalks are for pedestrians. If you think it’s hard finding good places to ride in the suburbs, try finding good places to walk.

    spiny norman

    December 20, 2012 at 12:04 am

    • Agreed. Plus, sidewalk riding is never as safe as it’s perceived to be. That’s why I’ve personally transitioned to all street riding.

      However, having been a new/newly returning cyclist, I know how difficult building that confidence is. There will always be those who want to start out on that ‘safer’ route, and having these ‘wildwalks’ make it easier to get along with peds. I’m okay with that as long as they ride at a slow pace and respect pedestrians.

      I also agree on the difficulty it is for pedestrians. There are still some areas, in what would be considered an already ‘built out’ suburb, that still don’t have sidewalks.

      dickdavid

      December 20, 2012 at 5:51 am


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