Walking is clearly a thing of the past and is now being discouraged. Urban planners stop considering the pedestrian...
I am down in San Jose this week for DVCon – perhaps the conference of the year for verification. For those that do not know San Jose – it is an urban airport. Things are built right around the airport such that with this trip I have no need for a car. The hotel is less than a mile from the airport, the convention center only a 15 minute walk from the hotel, the restaurant we had dinner in last night, just 10 minutes from the hotel. The airport here used to be small and almost stuck in the past. There were no jet ways – you walked down steps. The car rental was feet away. You could be in and out in just a few minutes. Now, San Jose has a brand spanking new airport that recently got completed. All signs of the old airport have gone.
I arrived intending to walk to the hotel. When I got out of the terminal none of the signs indicated which direction I should go in. I asked one guy. He looked at me with a blank stare, mumbled something and walked off. I found a more official looking person and he informed me that I should take a bus. I told him I didn’t want to take a bus, I wanted to walk. He said “you cannot walk – you must take a bus!” No wonder this country has obesity problems – even those who want to remain active and get some exercise are told that no provisions have been made for us.
I decided to find out anyways. I walked in one direction and before long the sidewalk ran out. All paths in the direction I wanted to go were blocked by a chain link fence. I dashed across 5 lanes of traffic doing way more than the set speed limit to find a sidewalk on the other side, even though it wasn’t really going in the direction I needed. Eventually I decided that I needed to examine some of their flower beds a little more closely. I crossed an exit ramp, walked through the garden without a path, across another ramp and found a dirt path. Success. I walked along the path and up to the bridge that crossed the Guadalupe River. I expected to find no footpath but to my surprise it suddenly started, across the bridge and then as I got up to the main road there were even pedestrian lights. It crossed my mind if they had ever actually been tested. It was a path to nowhere, a path that abandons the pedestrian as soon as they enter the grounds of the airport.
Oh such wonderful progress…
– keeping you covered
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