Home > Public Anecdotes, Visual Stimulus > Sidewalk to Nowhere: Example #I’veLostCount

Sidewalk to Nowhere: Example #I’veLostCount

Views from the Street

NE corner of Silver Lake and Barnes

This image of a disconnected sidewalk sent in by MyWHaT reader Mike Coco. Thanks Mike. He included the following commentary:

This intersection was recently improved with added sidewalks, ramps, crossing lights for the new entrance to West Jr. High.  I noticed today while watching a biker cross this intersection that this new ramp/sidewalk stops just feet short of connecting to an existing path (which I suspect was put in by the developer of the adjacent Copper Ridge).  Why does it stop short?  Why doesn’t it connect to the existing path?  We’re talking about 2 or 3 feet of concrete…..my guess is that connecting them would not comply with existing rules/regulations, not because it cost more ($100???).

If we, meaning our road agencies, prioritized pedestrians like they do the use of automobiles, disconnects like this wouldn’t happen.

Please, someone show me where a road demonstrates this much disregard for its users? For example, what would be the response if in the above image the space from the stop bar to the crosswalk was left as gravel. —->

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Editor’s Note: If your interested in an archive of images showing incomplete streets, visit the Michigan Complete Streets Flickr group. There are images from all over Michigan, but recently the MyWHaT photography staff has dominated the uploads, so northern Michigan is well represented. If you have an image you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to send an email or post it on the MyWHaT Facebook wall.

  1. Mike
    August 27, 2010 at 9:10 am

    I agree it’s obvious that cross walks are a mandatory after thought, always built the same way. Take the above example where the cross walk stops feet short of another path compared to the improvements that are being made at the intersection of Silver Lake and Zimmerman (which I’m grateful for because that’s a dangerous intersection). There are crosswalks on corners where there is nothing there and no sidewalks for miles.

    I’m not sure if this is forward thinking by MDOT or lack of common sense. But it seems to me that they should use the money/materials from the seemingly useless crosswalks to improve areas like Silver Lake and Barnes which is just a few miles away.

  2. August 27, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Thanks for the comments Mike. It’s my understanding, and I could be wrong (road commission, MDOT, city, you’re all welcome to correct me), but a lot of the sidewalks to nowhere are examples of agencies following the guidebooks and requirements to the bare minimum. For instance, policy will call for curb cuts to meet ADA requirements and for the inclusion of pedestrian lights, but that’s where the scope of the requirements stop. The lack of pedestrian priority in our infrastructure agencies results in viewing things like adding sidewalks as an “extra” cost, as it’s the movement of cars that we apparently value more than anything else.

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