August 24, 2009

Separating traffic and sidewalk

It's so much more pleasant to walk on a sidewalk when that sidewalk is separated from traffic whizzing by. That separation can be as simple as on-street parking or as pleasant as an actual landscaping buffer.

Main Street, Lenox

That came to mind a couple of weeks ago when we were in Lenox in western Mass., and there was an extremely wide buffer between the sidewalk and traffic in an area of Main Street without on-street parking. This buffer and a pleasant streetscape makes for an enormously more appealing walking environment than just sticking a sidewalk right next to the street (as is done way too often in Framingham).

Don't let the lack of pedestrians in the photo fool you into thinking people don't walk here. I actually waited quite awhile to find a time where I could get a picture without a lot of people blocking the view!

1 comment:

  1. This is pretty ridiculous and the equivalent of something the kid who doesn't know anything would say in Good Urban Design 101 class before the rest of the class turns around and laughs at him. This is terrible urban design (and, oh yeah, just in case this wasn't clear - urban design needs not a large city to be applied. good urbanism works in even the smallest of towns).

    There should be buffers between traffic and pedestrians, but "further and greener" does not equal greener, if you know what I mean. The more we work to spread out the urban environment, even in litte ways, the more it disintegrates into wasteful suburbia.