A Tale of Two Sidewalks

Compare for a moment the following two photos. These are two sections of the same street (Cedar) in Cleveland approaching Case Western Reserve from the west.

Cedar Road in ClevelandCedar Road in Cleveland

Cedar Road in ClevelandCedar Road in Cleveland

The posted speed limit on this section of street is 35 MPH, though over the course of 3 days, most cars appeared to be exceeding it. Particularly as I made my way back from the Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference each evening (walking up the hill against traffic) the section in the upper photo felt quite dangerous. For a brief moment at the apex of the curve, cars appeared to be heading straight for the sidewalk pedestrian, as if perhaps a in a moment of distraction one might end up as a hood ornament on a Ford Escape Hybrid...

Something as simple as the location of the sidewalk makes a huge difference in a pedestrian's feeling of safety - moving the sidewalk away from the street by five feet, on the other side of the streetlights, made the section in the lower photo feel safer by a factor of ten.


I agree, I often feel the same way in Highland Park at the corner of 6th and Euclid or along that stretch in about a block either way. Although I know the odds are highly unlikely that such a thing will happen, when I am standing there waiting for the light to change, with the cars going by, you can feel the air move and it feels like the building behind you itself is shaking, its kinda scary. I admire those brave souls I see with their kids in tow, I get nervous enough with just myself and my dog being there. Makes me wish we could park along Euclid, like they do on other streets, or even have the bike lanes like Ingersoll to give that break. I also think it would go along way to reinvigirating the HP/OP business corridor along 6th and Euclid.

Charles | Oct 27th, 2010 at 10:17 am

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