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suburban george3

Sidewalks to nowhere, from nowhere...

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I really haven't noticed this until the past couple of weeks driving around with work. I was in SE NC north of Wilmington on US17 when I noticed a new Lowe's Home Improvement store out in the middle of what seemed like nowhere. What I found interesting was in this area of NO visible development, just an intersection with a wide, landscaped sidewalk at the edge of the development.

While driving thru other areas this week, both urban and non-urban I noticed several of these "sidewalks to nowhere."

While this maybe something planners or the builder put in to appease the local development board, couldn't this strip of land been used for something else, like more trees to lessen the impact of the parking lot/hard surfaces Lowes had placed there. The areas where these developments/sidewalks are place are highly unlilkely to ever support much if any pedestrian traffic.

I'm just curious what everyone else's opinion is on this...

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Probably, they're planning for more development in the future. It's easier to put the sidewalks in now and connect future ones than it is to retrofit in the future should more sidewalks become desirous. And I might add that trees and sidewalks are not necessarily mutually exclusive...

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Some developments here have put down sidewalks for the future. Nobody uses them now, but eventually when more houses or whatever is built, they'll be "walkable". I don't consider suburban places "walkable" even with a sidewalk. The distance between streets or anything at all can be long. And those sidewalks in commercial developments... come on! In the car-dependent strip mall, what use is it to have a sidewalk line the street? No one walks between the stores or walks to or from their homes to the strip. They're useless sidewalks.

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While this maybe something planners or the builder put in to appease the local development board, couldn't this strip of land been used for something else, like more trees to lessen the impact of the parking lot/hard surfaces Lowes had placed there. The areas where these developments/sidewalks are place are highly unlilkely to ever support much if any pedestrian traffic.

I'm just curious what everyone else's opinion is on this...

Down here in Miami-Dade County, the sidewalk is depicted as part of the standard roadway sections that public works has promulgated. In other words, it's just a basic requirement of subdivision - when you improve the property and build your half the roadway, the street section has to include a sidewalk (with a few exceptions not relevant here).

Perhaps the local codes just mandate them, and it's easier to put the sidewalks in than try to get relief based on the specifics of the use.

Albaby

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Down here in Miami-Dade County, the sidewalk is depicted as part of the standard roadway sections that public works has promulgated. In other words, it's just a basic requirement of subdivision - when you improve the property and build your half the roadway, the street section has to include a sidewalk (with a few exceptions not relevant here).

Perhaps the local codes just mandate them, and it's easier to put the sidewalks in than try to get relief based on the specifics of the use.

Albaby

yeah, they have a similar law in Massachusetts. Bike and Pedestrian considerations have to be undertaken for any new construction, or roadway improvement.

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In older residential urban communities it's not uncommon for sidewalks to unexpectantly end at a lot line then pick up again somewhere further down the street. My guess is that that owner didn't want to (or just didn't) pay for the sidewalks instalation several decades ago when the house was built and the section was just never completed.

However, in modern development, I would assume that sidewalks would be more coordinated and either mandated or not mandated. If required, the sidewalk system will probably be some day connected, but only after all of the adjoining properties are devoped.

If not required, I have no idea why Lowe's would add a sidewalk until it at least had some neighbors.

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A block to the west of me has spotty sidewalks. When I was little I used to think the city limits stopped here and picked up there. In my mind, from observation, sidewalks were only in the city.

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