City Walks – Walking Paths

Just for the feet

Walking path

More Pedestrian Accommodations

A few weeks ago I posted some pics of footbridges in my area. There are also a number of pedestrian-only paths which were added when the neighborhood was first laid out.

My neighborhood dates to the days when cars were rare and people walked a lot more. And to accommodate walkers, paths were installed as shortcuts through the middle of a number of blocks, often with stairs going up and down steep slopes.

Here is one path, which runs for hundreds of yards up multiple sets of stairs.

Walking path
Stairs of walking path
Walking path with stairs

Others are much shorter, like this one.

Walking path with stairs

In general, though, the paths are laid out in a way that makes it hard to know exactly where they’re going when you come across an entrance. Useful for residents who know the scoop, but hard to navigate if you’re just passing through.

Walking path
Brick walking path
Walking path

Where They Were Headed

A few hints remain as to why they exist in some locations and not others. They were there in part to just make it easier for people to get around in the neighborhood — kids walking to school, adults visiting friends. And these days, they are still used that way, as well as by people walking dogs or out for exercise.

But they also originally made it much easier to get to the main streetcar lines, which were long ago torn out to make it easier to drive. But at one time they regularly connected my neighborhood to downtown, and the paths often made it easy to get to and from major street car stations. A few still exist, although they now are bus stops, like this one.

old streetcar shelter

They were impressive buildings designed to provide plenty of shelter from harsh weather, unlike modern bus shelters in most places, which are barely more than a few sheets of glass.

Old streetcar shelter

This one was decorated with elaborate decorative tile, such as this ceramic dragon.

Tile with dragon pattern

There was no thought back then of seeing them as assets which would be monetized with ads. They were there to make the neighborhood more liveable.



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