Monday, May 31, 2010

Walking in Washington (and elsewhere)

Safely back from a whirlwind jaunt through the greater DC (anything within two hours of the city counts as "greater DC," right?), I have a few pics of my many, many walking excursions to share. First, I was happy to note the tremendous number of marked crossings, many with some kind of distinct paving treatment:

On the othe hand, much of the marking--like much of the sidewalk--was brick. As we learned in a previous post on sidewalk materials, given enough time, water, and/or tree roots, brick can become seriously difficult to navigate.

You'd think the founding fathers would have kept that in mind when they designed this street near the capitol building, but I suppose trip and fall lawsuits weren't such a prominent issue when you were in the middle of building a nation.

I also liked these cool maps I found in Old Town Alexandria--note how walking distances are clearly delineated.

I came across some other nice wayfinding signs in St Michaels, Maryland. Not only do they help confused tourists like me find their way around town, they also help establish the town's identity. To me the signs clearly indicate "You are now in a cute town in east Maryland." The street furniture (I've never seen so many people sitting and watching the crowd go by as I did in this town) also adds a nice touch. Of course, all this stuff probably cost the town a lot of money, so it would be hard for every community to implement.

And as if that wasn't enough, they also had this great pocket park dedicated to Frederick Douglass (who grew up in the area). Some towns get all the good stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment