For Social Distancing, Sidewalk Design Falls Short
"The recommendations to keep our space from other people during these crazy times are revealing the shortcomings in our dominant sidewalk and pathway design practices," writes Don Kostelec.
Social distancing is difficult, or even impossible, when minimum and functional widths of sidewalks and pathways are not sufficient to maintain six feet of space between people. "Have you tried that on a four-foot wide sidewalk that lacks a buffer from the street? What about on a sidewalk that has a railing or retaining wall on the back side of it? Have you attempted to keep your six-feet of space while passing someone on an 8-foot wide shared use pathway?" asks Kostelec.
Kostelec presents a series of examples of walkways that clearly privilege automobiles over pedestrians and highlights the issues with navigating these shared spaces during the pandemic.