Social Trails: Another Garfield Avenue Example
Spotted: Social Trail
Sometimes we don’t notice the things that are the closest to where we live. The above social trail is just around the corner from my house and I never noticed it before. That’s in part due to its location along Garfield Avenue, which doesn’t even pretend to be walkable.
OK, it pretends; there are short sections of sidewalk and in places along the corridor the city has placed new crosswalks. Needless to say, despite the lack of infrastructure and design, people are walking along this corridor. And, if there is no clear, comfortable and convenient option, the “no trespassing” is worthless.
People walk where they want to walk.
It is election time (next Tuesday). I want to mention that some free advice: If I was a long-term elected official seeking election to another office, I might reconsider placing a campaign yard-sign in a lawn next to a glaring failure under my lengthy watch.
NOTE: Garfield’s current design is not sacred. Rumor has it that there is room for improvements, including consideration of bike lanes and parking. If I didn’t hear that rumor, I’m at least starting it. For a start, the $100,000 received via the TIGER grant targets revitalizing our worst streets, including Garfield Ave.
Are you seeing social trails in Traverse City?
The city engineer is currently collecting data on the existing sidewalk network and has asked for help in spotting social trails. The social trails will help prioritize where the city constructs sidewalks for the coming decade. If you want to send comment with the location & description, I will get an image and send it on to the city engineer & planner. Or, send an image and description to them yourself (copy MyWHaT as well so we can keep a running list.)