Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The New York Times reports on the history of pedestrianism:
For centuries, pedestrians had undifferentiated dominion over both the sidewalks and the roadbed — sidewalks were not pedestrian cattle pens, but off-limits zones for vehicles. “The street” meant the entire open area, from building line to building line. This changed in the 1880s with the advent of electric and cable streetcars, with their much greater weights and speeds than horse-drawn vehicles, not to mention their guillotine-like wheels. It is a comment on how we viewed our streets that, by design, passengers were meant to board streetcars in the middle of the roadway.