JFS Engineering
Land Development and Water Resources Engineering
Sidewalks Everywhere
Categories: Design Vignettes

Complete StreetsBack when I was young, one of the aldermen in my hometown came up with a practical solution to a nagging problem. Our town was a rambling collection of several colonial vintage villages connected by newer suburban infill development, and every year the cost of running school buses in the town increased. It so happened that most of the village areas had a major locus point, either an elementary school, town hall, or the shopping plaza, and all of these places were nice, walkable, and compact. The proposed solution to the school bus expense was to repair or build new sidewalks within 1.5 miles of all of these locus points, and provide school bus service to all points necessary outside of the 1.5 mile radius of the schools.

Truly an idea that was ahead of it’s time. Considering that the reaction about 40 years ago during the first gas crisis was a combination of bewilderment and confusion, I wonder what the reaction would be today. Considering that a large portion of peak hour traffic is generated during the school year, what would happen if something like this was implemented today and parents did not take up the slack by driving to school twice a day. Exercise, social time, a limited degree of self-reliance, and character building experiences for our children sound like a good investment for the cost of about $5 a square foot. Would Bill Cosby have been as popular as he was if he did not have to walk to school, uphill both ways?

 

 

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