Monday, November 29, 2010

Sarajevo Sidewalks

Sarajevo messes with my ideas about what you need to have a walkable city.

I would have told you you should have a network of wide sidewalks, preferably separated from the road by a parking strip. And yet, Sarajevo is a city full of pedestrians and, except for the major pedestrian street in the center of town, it doesn't have any of that.

Here's the average sidewalk width.

This is a wide sidewalk.

When sidewalks are any wider than this, they always have cars parked, nose to end, on them, so you can't walk on them at all.

Cars drive too fast and people grumble about it, just like back in Florida, but the fact is that pedestrians and cars effectively share the road. Usually, we--and all the other pedestrians--walk in the road, but when a car comes, we move to the side of the road, and the car slows down until it passes us.

Maybe narrow roads actually make things safer for pedestrians, encouraging both pedestrians and motorists to look out for each other? Maybe you don't really need sidewalks to walk a city?

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