Check out this rant from Newsweek about the forgotten magic of sidewalks.
I am told that nobody really cares about sidewalks; nobody wants to shovel them. Yet sidewalks—those evenly spaced concrete blocks—stitch a town into a neighborhood. They allow a physical experience of community while beckoning children to explore, to discover, to make friends three blocks away. For kids today, geography is understood from the back seat of a car, rather than through the scents and textures of heart-beating, muscle-flexing, self-motivated expeditions that connect one place to another, one person to another. The destination has displaced the journey.
This really made me think. Outside of my neighborhood I don't walk anywhere at all. When I was a kid we used to walk to school, to the shopping center, to my friend's houses, and just about anywhere our feet could take us.
I can't even think of my kid walking (when he's old enough) anywhere now. Our neighborhood is like an island in a sea of roads. The sidewalk leading out of my neighborhood literally ends. It turns the corner and then just stops and gives way to grass.
I have some hope though. There is a cow path forming in the grass where the teens from my neighborhood walk about a mile to a local shopping center for jobs or fun.
I suppose this isn't a problem in big cities, but more a fact of life in suburbia. Any thoughts from y'all?