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I Miss Sidewalks (And I Don't Want to Die Walking to School)


Ok, I'm going to try to make this the last time I gripe about this, but:

I miss sidewalks.

Some of my Lawrence friends have already heard me opine on this topic, but I'm going to put it on the record: Center City Philadelphia was a wonderful place to be a pedestrian — so wonderful, in fact, that we sold our car soon after moving there, realizing it was a bigger pain in the butt to keep a car there (especially price-wise) than it was to have easy access to wheels. Groceries, libraries, parks, schools, and much more were all within an easy 15-minute walk, and every block was bounded on all four sides by sidewalks.

In Lawrence: There is no sidewalk in front of our house.

Scratch that: There is a sidewalk — but we have to cross the street to get to it. Not a big deal, right?

Except for this: School starts on Wednesday. For us, there are two ways to get T's new school — Ninth Street and Yale Road.

Ninth Street has a sidewalk the whole way, though it's also got decent incline. I'll get my morning exercise.

Yale Road has sidewalks in some places — the same blocks where school is. And almost nowhere else, at least not between the school and our house. The Yale Road side is also where students are released after school, so there's going to be a lot of foot and vehicle traffic on that path in the afternoons.

I realize, writing this, I must sound like a cranky old coot. But lordy: Seems to me that residential neighborhoods around schools should be packed with sidewalks, so that there's never a question of whether an elementary school student — or their family — should decide to walk in the street, and thus in the path of traffic.

Eh — I get it. We chose to live on the slightly more suburban, slightly more cul-de-saccy side of town. This is what you get with it. But there are a lot of kids who live in this neighborhood: They're not all being driven to school, are they?

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