Are Sidewalks Overrated?

Since my 14 year-old daughter, Taylor, will be going to high school next year, and I, well, just needed a vacation, we decided a 21 day cross-country road trip was in order. More than an opportunity to force my teenager to hang out with me for a few weeks, I’m also looking for some new inspiration for my work. Thus, Madison, WI proved to be a worthy first stop. Below are a few pics…

I'm not the type to look backwards and say "this is how we should of done it," particularly when I am not privy to all information (remember, I'm a county planner). However, in my opinion the bike path concept shown here should have been considered for the new Highway 421 expansion currently taking place in Boone. My understanding is that we'll not have bike lanes, but only an extra-wide, unmarked outside lane for cyclists, and, as already constructed, there are sidewalks on both sides. Idea: remove the extra-wide lanes, which equals about 4' total. Add this width to one of the 4' wide sidewalks and you've created an 8' wide multi-use path. Are sidewalks overrated?

Rent bikes for $10 a day. This bike rack was full about two hours before I was able to get my camera and return. To implement this idea, biking infrastructure must be extensive.

Taylor and our family friend, Madeline, cruise down a "bike boulevard." These low-traffic roadways serve as major connectors to community assets. Bikes are given precedent.

The bike traffic light leaves no doubt.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Are Sidewalks Overrated?

  1. Wish they had this kind of foresight in Chapel Hill/Carrboro too.

    Enjoy your trip!

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