Redevelopment Sidewalks: Adding Futility To The Simple Pleasure of Walking

Several Friends have recently asked that we share with you our Loyal Readers some images of the ridiculous Redevelopment sidewalks in downtown Fullerton. The question that comes to mind is: what sort of ninny would design something so impractical and expensive, other than a Redevelopment bureaucrat, of course; and why?

meandering sidewalk
East side of Malden, between Wilshire & Whiting. Slide, step, slide.
meandering sidewalk2
Sidewalk at Wilshire Promenade - a special mindset revealed
meandering sidewalk3
Police station, Highland & Amerige. Okay, single file now

Discovering the answers to the questions posited above is actually intriguing if you are the sort of person who is interested in the study of the abandonment of critical thought in homo sapiens. People who like this sort of sidewalk have made the foolish and perhaps even unwitting mistake of jettisoning simplicity in the confused belief that anything that is more complicated – in this case a broken versus a straight line – must be an aesthetic improvement. Others have seen in these pointless meanderings an aesthetic “softening” that comes when you replace the rectilinear with the curvilinear (although please note that ours aren’t even curvilinear) a weird idea that can trace its legacy way back to the anti-grid urban movements of the late Nineteenth Century.

F. Paul Dudley, former Director of Development Services (and prominent member of the $100,000 retirement club) once defended his knee-jerk support for these practical monstrosities by taking a different tack, but one guaranteed to win the hearts and minds of ponder-free tree boohoos. He claimed that these zigzag paths actually increase the area available for landscaping next to buildings downtown. Wrong!  As any 10th grader taking geometry knows, a straightline is the shortest distance between two points. If you increase the length of a sidewalk through pointless meandering, you necessarily increase the amount of concrete needed to build it. Increase the concrete and you necessarily decrease the amount of adjacent area available for landscaping! That’s pretty simple. Well, this is Fullerton, after all, but still, you have to wonder how Dudley managed to hang on to his job for so long.

Finally we have to wonder what it’s like for somebody in a wheelchair to have to negotiate these sidewalks.

FFFF’s tip of the day: If you walking somewhere in downtown Fullerton, remember to budget some extra time because it will take you twice as long to get where you are going.

(images thoughtfully provided by Travis Kiger)

14 Replies to “Redevelopment Sidewalks: Adding Futility To The Simple Pleasure of Walking”

  1. Ninny is a very kind word for the fools that allowed this to happen in our great city.
    Mr. Dudley, “tear down that sidewalk” and you and your minions get down there and rebuild it yourself with YOUR own money since you ripped off this great city! Can anyone say “shovel ready” project right here in Fullerton on Dudley’s dime this time not the city of Fullerton’s! I’m so sick of these smokey back room what’s good for me and my wallet tricky itchy gitchy Fullerton good ol boy political deals. This city deserves to be honored and not have these lazy blow hard and long jerks abscond our funds for their financial and political gain…

  2. Notice how much of those planter areas are bare? People are just walking straight through. What a joke!

  3. Those things are flat-out dangerous. Imagine navigating those in a wheelchair or with a walker?

  4. ground zero for the ninny architecture that has infected fullerton is the cement hocky stick/ golf club / cement something that arose one day in the 1970’s on the library’s lawn.

  5. It is not handicapped accessible, as of 2005 all sidewalks and corners have to be handicapped accessible. Santa Ana has you beat with accessibility, on 5th street over the bridge they have telephone poles smack dab in the middle of the side walks.

  6. LM, FYI. 5th Street/Santa Ana River bridge area has been named the worst pavement in the State of California by the National Pavement Contractor’s Association.

  7. fullerton harpoon, I never wanted to get too close to it and only see if from the street. since it is made out of steel then unfortunately it will be around for a long time. referring to long past posts their was one that mentioned the glory days of the Hunt library which housed henry moore sculptures along with books. Compared to the real thing thehockey stick is ugly proof that fullerton government’s sense of aesthetics is funky, chunky and clunky

  8. They should sell tickets to that one on Malden. It’s like an amusement park ride. Don’t walk it if you get motion sickness easily. Or maybe it’s supposed to slow down drunks.

    Just a guess, but perhaps the diagonal pieces are just supposed to break up longer stretches of straight sidewalk(?), but were instead used to lay out an entire sidewalk without any square segments.

  9. I suspect the real reason behind these new, user-hostile sidewalks is to make bicycling, skateboarding, and rollerblading next to impossible. This, of course, will have the less-than-salubrious effect of forcing wheel-born youth onto the streets and into traffic. Funny how the powers that be never level with us citizens, er, I mean lowly serfs, about that.

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