Sidewalk Bandits Make Off With the Pedestrian Right-of-Way

What happened to the sidewalk? That’s what Steve Patterson at Urban Review STL has been wondering when venturing around his hometown of St. Louis.

St. Louis's sidewalks have become cluttered, says Steve Patterson. Photo: Urban Review STL

Private businesses are depositing sandwich boards, awning supports, and other items on the sidewalks, encroaching on space that should be clear for walking. Patterson is especially aware of these problems; since suffering a stroke about four years ago, he has relied on a wheelchair to get around St. Louis. It’s always interesting to read his observations:

When I first passed Copia, above, on Wednesday three people were conversing just outside the door, blocking my only path. One moved the sign as I started to hit it and he said “sorry,” apologizing for the sign blocking the sidewalk. A half an hour later I come back through and the sign is placed in the same location. The supports for the awning also reduce the width. So does the planter in the background.

Block after block our sidewalks are effectively reduced to single file. Not exactly friendly or what was envisioned when the sidewalks were widened at significant public expense some years ago.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Biking in LA shares ideas for putting an end to Los Angeles’s egregious hit-and-run problem. Beyond DC explains how “bike bays” help cyclists to make left turns safely. And the Urbanophile issues a call to put some extra effort into improving your city.