Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How Wide The Sidewalk?

The Militant may or may not have found himself walking in the rain somewhere in the Valley, in a somewhat familiar strip of Sepulveda Blvd. in North Hills. Shielded from the elements by his um-ba-rella (ella...ella...ella...eh...eh...eh...) he walked northbound along Sepulveda, walking ever...uh. Walking continuously...uh. Um.

Wait a minute.

Turns out the sidewalk was so narrow at some points that the Militant was literally blocked, and had to tip his umbrella at an angle just to pass, thereby allowing several drops of rain to dilute his camouflage garb, thus defeating the purpose of carrying any instrument designed to protect oneself from the effects of precipitation.

Could you imagine of the Militant experienced any cross-traffic with another umbrella'd pedestrian walking the other direction? Who would have the right of way? Would he and the other pedestrian be stalled there waiting for the other to pass? Oh the horror! But of course, this being the Valley, pedestrians were a woefully rare sight anyway, regardless of weather conditions.

So this got the Militant thinking, in terms of urban design standards -- Sidewalks should be wide enough for a person carrying a large umbrella to pass through unencumbered. A reasonable request, no?

Of course, so far, this has been a Valley problem, and the Miltant's short-term solution was to get out of there.


soledadenmasa said...

It's also a problem in South Gate and other Gateway cities. I've noticed this problem only on large boulevards, like Firestone, Atlantic, etc. I think they were afterthoughts to the boulevards primary goal: get cars moving as fast as possible. It's probably there to deter walking along large streets. I agree, they should be large enough to allow someone with a stroller or an umbrella to walk with having to tilt their head.

bgfa said...

There are a few downtown as well, especially along 4th Street east of Main, and 4th street just east of Olive, both on the south side of the street.

FYI, the federal ADA standards require sidewalks to be wide enough for someone is a wheelchair to pass. That's usually a minimum of 48".