April 17, 2006

Walk where you drive

I'm normally an advocate of having separate places for people to walk and drive. Cars rushing by at 55 or even 45mph while you're walking on a shoulder that cars sometimes use isn't generally fun. I usually avoid walking on Route 13 in particular, as drivers seem to think they own that road exclusively.

Sometimes, however, it's worth taking a walk even in a place that isn't welcoming. Last week I had my car repaired at G.L. Mullen Body Shop, 290 Cortland Road, after hitting a deer (which walked away) one evening on Hanshaw Road. I dropped the car off around 8:00am, and walked down to the Village of Dryden along Route 13.


I've driven this stretch of road countless times, and noticed a few things. Businesses in Dryden, TC3, the Dryden Book Barn, Crown Construction, and Lilley's Tack and Feed. That's most of what I remember about it. I don't remember the view coming into the village, the panoramas to either side, or the junk along the side of the road. This time I did, taking pictures along the way.

Powerlines seem to have become invisible to people. Every now and then someone at a meeting will claim that some new addition is "no uglier than the powerlines that are already there." On foot, though, I could experiment with powerlines, seeing the same view with and without them:

Looking north from 13, through powerlines
Looking north from Route 13, framed by road, powerlines, and sign.

Looking north from 13, without powerlines
Looking north from Route 13, without powerlines, road, or sign.

It doesn't seem like it should make that big a difference, but it was fairly incredible to me how removing the powerlines and related noise from a scene could make it feel much more open, more intriguing.

A lot of people do their walking in downtowns, in the mall, or in other areas built for pedestrians. That's sensible. But still, sometime, if you want the chance to see what we're missing by driving around all the time, walk someplace where you normally only drive. See what you've been missing.

Update: NYCO takes this a bit further, and writes about litter. I did take a few litter pictures, but it would have been easy to take a few hundred more.

Posted by simon at April 17, 2006 7:12 PM in ,
Note on photos


Mary Ann said:

Nice photos, Simon. And thought provoking. It's worth pointing out that eliminating the posted sign in the first photo contributes as much to opening up the view as eliminating the electric lines. Ah, progress...