- It will be safer for pedestrians.
- It addresses the narrow sidewalk issue.
- It doesn’t take up any parking spots.
- REPEAT: IT DOESN’T TAKE UP ANY PARKING SPOTS.
- REPEAT: IT DOESN’T TAKE UP ANY LEGAL PARKING SPOTS.
I’ve seen these extended walkways in other downtowns and they do work very well. You definitely feel safer when crossing the street and the sidewalks seem a lot more breathable .
Here is the West End Beautification proposed Schematic from their article Walking the Beech [Street]… (PART II):
Elsewhere on Long Island, the downtown of Huntington has these extended walkways (see google image below).
When it comes to beautifying and developing our downtown districts, I feel we can learn a lot from Huntington’s more mature downtown. Crossing the streets in Huntington does feel safer as a pedestrian. The sidewalks seem more breathable without taking away from any parking spots, since you aren’t allowed to park in walkways in the first place. This added “sidewalk” space also offers more opportunities for other stuff what wouldn’t normally fit, such as bike racks or planters. For example: See the crappy google image capture below of a planter on this extension in Huntington.
A closer look of this extended walkway in Huntington,NY (Image – Google Maps).
I noticed a similar configuration on a recent trip to Saratoga Springs, NY (see photo below). Now granted, this example shows a much wider sidewalk, but you get the idea. The pedestrian crossing sign is placed on this extended walkway in this example.
Long Beach is a wonderful place to live, but I feel we have a lot to learn from other downtown areas. I’m going to be addressing other issues with our downtown in future articles. In the meantime, let’s try to get some talk going with this West End Beautification proposal. Creating a safer environment is something I’m sure we all can agree on. Having more breathable sidewalks with added room for planters and bike racks is nothing, but a positive for our downtowns.