When we talk about walkability, we are not just talking about pedestrian safety, maintenance and access to resources. Before all of this, we have to encourage people to… well, actually walk.
One of the best ways to do this is creative beautification of the walkway itself. Few things encourage walkability more than a sidewalk that’s more than a sidewalk… sidewalks can feature art, creative markings, unique lighting, or in the case of a small stretch in Brighton New York, feel like you’re walking through a park that’s just a stones throw from a major intersection.
Let’s take a poll. Would you rather walk here…?
Here’s the trick. These two sidewalks are directly across the street from one another. The latter flanks Brighton High School, creating a gorgeous cushion zone between the school and heavily-traveled Monroe Avenue. It also sends a message that walkers are welcome in a neighborhood with a strong and diverse walking community, including a high Jewish population that frequently walks to one of several local Temples.
You can see where this small stretch of sidewalk actually looks more like a micro-park, with a dry stone ditch as a buffer between pedestrians and the road. Sculpture-like signage accompanies the scene, with tall grasses and trees working the perimeter.
Even on a cloudy day, this sidewalk shines above the rest, inviting visitors from their cars as they drive by. This spectacular stretch of pedestrian glory is a little glimpse into the creative potential of walkabilty and everything that comes with this positive addition!