Monday, February 11

Sidewalks for Franklin-to-the-Fort

It's nice to see little achievements like this. The Missoulian reported today, on the front page no less, that the area around Franklin school in Missoula will finally receive sidewalks. And the city even allowed a grant to help lower-income residents with the price of the assessment. It looks like some hard work knocking on doors has paid off.

Jane Jacobs devoted the first three chapters of Death and Life of Great American Cities to sidewalks.

"Streets in cities serve many purposes other than carrying vehicles, and city sidewalks - the pedestrian parts of the streets - serve many purposes besides carrying pedestrians. These uses are bound up with circulation but are not identical with it and in their own right they are at least as basic as circulation to the proper workings of cities.

A city sidewalk by itself is nothing. It is an abstraction. It means something only in conjunction with the buildings and other uses that border it, or border other sidewalks very near it. The same might be said of streets, in the sense that they serve other purposes besides carrying wheeled traffic in their middles. Streets and their sidewalks, the main public places of the city, are its most vital organs."


Zed said...

Many folks are cheering the bringing of sidewalks to the Franklin-to-the-Fort neighborhood: the elderly (who don't feel safe walking along the road), the folks with wheelchairs (who have limited progress along grass verges), and the kids (who will now have a clearly delineated grassy place between the sidewalk and the curb on which to play, instead of the mud and broken glass that is so common now).

It's clear that sidewalks bring people back into the public. And with more people walking, chatting, and enjoying their neighborhood, the streets become safer, more welcoming, and a more desirable place to live. Just like neighborhood stores, local schools, and pocket parks, sidewalks give people a reason to live in their neighborhoods, not just sleep there.

jhwygirl said...

I was told, zed, that the plans are not for boulevard sidewalks - i.e., a "clearly delineated grassy place between the sidewalk and the curb.."

Unfortunate - especially since the ROW on Johnson is something like 100 or 120 feet. Boulevard trees would have been nice, too.

That info from city engineering.