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Bus riders account for more than 20 percent of people using Lake Shore Drive every day while taking up a fraction of the space that cars do.

Every garage a trailhead

I was stunned by the brilliance of this sign this morning. Toodling around Ogden Dunes this morning with my boss, whom I picked up at Portage, Ind.'s South Shore station, I saw this posted just past the entrance to the Dunes' way cool residential neighborhood and park: THESE ROADS ARE OUR SIDEWALKS. PLEASE BE AWARE OF WALKERS, JOGGERS AND BICYCLISTS. THANK YOU.

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It does so many cool things:

  1. It sets priorities for road users
  2. It communicates a high quality of life
  3. It celebrates leisure and physical activity
  4. It extends the attraction from the lakeshore through the entire neighborhood
  5. It implies that residents will attack you as a horde and scatter the remains on the other side of the South Shore tracks if you, harried driver, should do anything, anything at all, to defy the sign. In short: it proclaims cohesiveness as a neighborhood in deciding what streets are for

Ever hear the term, Make every garage a trailhead? This sign does that; a technically fuller definition of multi-purpose trail would include cars. Every garage in Ogden Dunes is a trailhead.

Lots of suburban towns abhor sidewalks in residential areas. Go ahead, crack jokes about suburban paranoia about the city, but lots of times the advent of sidewalks in front of your house means your street is going to get wider and busier and faster, and you will lose trees and other beloved parts of your front yard; sidewalks can be a symptom of prioritizing car use too highly, instead of a feature. Transportation decisions are so often about the expansion of facilities and the separation of use. Better lots of times to share the space you have, and to let others know you expect them to share, too.

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