For the last couple of weeks the City of Winston-Salem has been laying a sidewalk on our street. It’s something I’ve hoped for over the last four years. In fact, I cannot tell you how happy I am to have access to that small strip of concrete!
In some ways it seems ridiculous–why do you need a dedicated piece of concrete for walking? Technically you don’t, but given the distracted nature of modern driving its sort of nice. Ours is a busy street and walking (especially with a stroller) was difficult as you had to walk on the outside of parked cars since many yards are impassible to a stroller.
A sidewalk sends the message: “we expect you to walk.” Not only does it communicate the expectation, it also makes provision for the safety and relative comfort of the walker. Building a sidewalk is an act of hospitality rather than of strict necessity, but in creating a community its important for people to safely and comfortably be able to walk outside of their homes so they can meet their neighbors and share life. A sidewalk can help make this happen.
My house was built in 1941 and it’s almost like World War II started and all the sidewalk money was diverted to the war effort. Now, some seventy years later, we’re getting a sidewalk of our own!