Posts Tagged ‘sidewalks’

I keep telling myself that it’s temporary housing.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing – I am living with a good friend I’ve known for years, I have my own space here and it’s inexpensive.  And while I’m technically still in Columbus, this section of town along Bethel Road is very sub-urban.

Everything is set back from the street far enough that there is almost an extra block walk involved.  One can say that there’s a Kroger on Bethel and Dierker, but the truth is that it’s almost another two blocks before one reaches the front door.  In the same strip center where Kroger resides are a multitude of other shops, but they’re further and further away from the designated intersection.

Strangely, the sidewalks don’t extend beyond Bethel Road.  There are literally several hundred housing units within walking distance of Kroger – but someone forgot to attach the sidewalks.

Housing density along Bethel Road is reasonable and perhaps even more dense than my former Merion Village neighborhood.  Townhouses, apartments and condos line the streets, but are typically shielded from the non-stop vehicular traffic of Bethel Road by earth berms, landscaping and enormous set-backs.

Obviously, this is a part of the “old” Columbus when automobile use was expected and pedestrians, bicyclists and those in wheelchairs were wise to live elsewhere.  Sadly, parking lots rein supreme though a road-side sign states we’re part of the Scioto Watershed.  That’s humorous given the excessive run off that takes place along Bethel Road.

The relative good news is that I’m not necessarily isolated in a sea of asphalt and concrete. Two COTA bus lines serve Bethel Road regularly.  The #95 whisks me to work in fifteen fewer minutes than did the #16 (which was becoming increasingly GHETTO because loud gangs of foul-mouthed, fighting youths pack it when leaving Easton on the weekends).

For my recreational use, COTA route 18 gets me back downtown and into the former ‘hood where I can enjoy a few drinks with the gang.  Never a worry about having too much to drink.  Only a worry to make sure I catch the last bus back.

Despite the car-forced zoning out here, there are a handful of pedestrians and bicyclists trying to make a go of it.  There are a few folks that wait with me for the bus to work.  Even more on the 18 as it passes through OSU.  The bank, movie theaters, restaurants and grocer are all within walking distance – and actually, I have more within walking distance here than I did when I was living in town, its just that walking isn’t the norm.  (Psst…maybe that’s because someone forgot to build the sidewalks).

And that’s a shame.  I would have expected that the City of Columbus would have remembered to install sidewalks along their streets.  I’m a pedestrian and this is my city too.

(Psst…hey you, yes you City of Columbus.  Traffic might decrease on Bethel Road if the sidewalks on Bethel Road actually connected to the adjoining neighborhoods).

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