Walking from one point to another in your neighborhood is something that happens so regularly that people almost cannot imagine their lives without this option. This is only made possible, however, through proper sidewalks on our streets.
Proper sidewalk design is something that is so often thought of as a given, that many do not realize its importance until they encounter a sidewalk that has been designed poorly. Poor sidewalk design can range from narrow walkways to bumpy and impassable paths. When this happens, people find themselves inconvenienced by sidewalks, to the point of sometimes no longer using it. This seriously limits mobility in communities, which can have a negative effect on both individuals and the community as a whole.
Ideally, sidewalks should be large, smooth, and clean enough for dozens of people to pass at a time. With a variety of material to choose from — such as stone, concrete, or large sidewalk pavers — there is no reason not to have quality sidewalks at every corner of your neighborhood.
Here are some benefits to having well-designed sidewalks:
Improving community health
Having walkable sidewalks encourages people to get moving. If walking is made comfortable and enjoyable for them, they will be motivated to go on leisurely strolls or runs, thereby giving them the opportunity to physical exercise and stay healthy.
If walking is made a genuinely attractive option for people, they will also begin to eschew cars or motorcycles when traveling short distances. Instead, they will prefer to simply walk. Not only does this save them money on gas — without coming at the expense of their comfort — but it will also do well for the planet and the environment.
Keeping pedestrians safe
If sidewalks are cramped or uncomfortable to walk on, pedestrians will look for easier and more convenient ways to walk around. In such cases, this usually means walking on the road itself, where cars and other vehicles pass. This is incredibly unsafe for pedestrians and – if something goes wrong – can lead to fatal accidents, resulting in injury or death. In order to prevent such accidents from happening, a sidewalk must be designed to be conducive to walking.
Your community contains people of all ages, all of whom have varying levels of physical ability. The very young and very old might have trouble walking on a rough, bumpy, and poorly designed sidewalk. Even worse off still are those with disabilities who are confined to wheelchairs, who might find it impossible to pass through such sidewalks.
Do not rob such people of the opportunity to enjoy what your community has to offer. Design your sidewalks well so that they, too, can enjoy the outdoors easily. Just a small thing such as this can already make a huge difference in their lives.
Adding style to your streets
A neat and well-designed sidewalk is pleasing to the eyes and adds an aesthetic factor to your community. You could also add some color and other decorations, such as plants, to sidewalks for pedestrians to admire as they walk by. This not only adds life and personality to your community but shows that you want to build a community that everyone can enjoy.
Sidewalks are an integral part of every neighborhood and can positively shape the fabric of a community. With well-designed and comfortable sidewalks, it is easy to spot the sunnier dispositions you will instantly find in people.