Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sidewalks by Design
Our fair city continues to insist that it is pedestrian friendly. Of course, this friendliness comes second to being very friendly to motorists.
At first glance the above photo is so typical of Ottawa surely it is nothing worthwhile noting? But consider the engineering and design effort that goes into designing a road and sidewalk system that consistently delivers a slushy puddle at hundreds of thousands of sidewalk dips all across our city for four or five months of the year. Consider the thought and effort that goes into ensuring pedestrians are directed onto steeply sloping sidewalks at exactly the same geographical point as the slush and ice and muck is put onto that same sidewalk!
I used to think this was part of a scheme to reduce pension obligations, since a high percentage of elderly falls result in a broken hip that results in death within six months. But I no longer believe that, since the downtown neighborhoods are increasingly bereft of elderly persons and the puddles remain. I do however remain impressed at the consistency and frequency at which the city can deliver these sidewalk features throughout our west side neighborhoods.