While I was writing my previous Streamhugger post about Black Friday Parking, I began to to digress about another issue that was glaringly evident when looking at an aerial photo of the mall where I took photos of vastly underused parking lots. So I figured I better save that rant for a different post. So here is that post about sidewalks, as inspired by the lack thereof around South Mall at the south end of Allentown, PA.
|(Image from Google Maps, annotated by author)|
Sidewalk-less residential streets in the neighborhood
immediately west of South Mall.
Dead-end street in the Alton Park neighborhood immed-
lately north of South Mall. There is no pedestrian cut-
through. Only a tree line to separate the neighborhood
from the mall.
For a municipality to not require sidewalks throughout residential developments and to not connect residential developments to shopping districts (or, in the case of South Mall, to an otherwise extremely conveniently located shopping center) is both short-sighted and incompetent. Not requiring sidewalks for whatever reason is like making the hugely inappropriate assumption people would prefer to rely on automobiles to make even the most basic shopping or social trips. That assumption strips residents of the ability to choose to walk or bike instead relying on automobiles, and 21st century Americans deserve to have the ability to make that choice. The only parties who are served well by development decisions that make walking and biking inconvenient are the automobile and petroleum industries.