Does “Too Much of a Good Thing” Apply to Sidewalks?

 

 

By Dom Nozzi

 

I am convinced that it is, indeed, quite possible to build sidewalks that are too wide.

 

If a street is not dense or active enough to experience more than a tiny trickle of pedestrian volumes, a relatively wide sidewalk can create a perception that the street-life is dead, even if it is not entirely dead. A narrower sidewalk can, in such a circumstance, make the street seem more alivwide-sidewalk2e, even if the pedestrian volume remains the same. In addition, a relatively wide sidewalk can create an ambience that is not human-scaled and the feeling of being over-exposed—particularly if there are few or no pedestrians using it.

 

In my experience, pedestrians often enjoy the sociability of walking a moderately crowded sidewalk (often produced by a relatively narrow sidewalk), in stark contrast to our preference when driving a car on a crowded road. I would add that some of the best walking experiences I’ve had have been on Charleston and Nantucket sidewalks, cafenitewhich tend to be quite narrow.

 

 

 

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Visit my urban design website read more about what I have to say on those topics. You can also schedule me to give a speech in your community about transportation and congestion, land use development and sprawl, and improving quality of life.

 

Visit: www.walkablestreets.wordpress.com

 

Or email me at: dom[AT]walkablestreets.com

 

50 Years Memoir CoverMy memoir can be purchased here: Paperback = http://goo.gl/9S2Uab Hardcover =  http://goo.gl/S5ldyF

 

My book, The Car is the Enemy of the City (WalkableStreets, 2010), can be purchased here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-car-is-the-enemy-of-the-city/10905607Car is the Enemy book cover

 

My book, Road to Ruin, can be purchased here:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Ruin-Introduction-Sprawl-Cure/dp/0275981290

 

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http://domnozziadventures.wordpress.com/

 

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http://domdangerous.wordpress.com/

 

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http://walkablestreets.wordpress.com/

 

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https://domz60.wordpress.com/

 

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