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.