6 Common Reasons Why Sidewalks Are Seldom Used

One of the common neighborhood problems is how people walk on the streets instead of sidewalks. Going to and from work or school, they find it more convenient to walk on the streets because it is free from obstruction. At the same time, the space is wider compared to the human traffic experienced in walking on sidewalks. Sidewalks are often dominated by vehicles limiting the volume of people they can cater to.

Not using the sidewalks may provide convenience at some point but it compromises the safety of the people. In building a community, one of the most important considerations is easy and safe means of transport. Allow the sidewalks to give the people a reason to walk instead of hopping on a bus or taking a cab. These 6 reasons will give you a clearer view on why people seldom use sidewalks.

(Image Source: https://www.citylab.com/life/2016/04/las-vegas-gamble-with-pedestrian-powered-streetlights-solar-kinetic-energy/476292/)

1. The Lighting Design is Poor

Lighting design is one of the considerations in order to maximize the utilization of sidewalks even at night. This does not just make them visible at night. Lighting also helps in making the people feel more secured. There are a lot of people who walk home at night. Walking in a dark sidewalk makes a person more cautious about the surroundings. There is the feeling of worry about how walking in a dark sidewalk alone will compromise their safety.

Most urban designers think highly of the lighting design of the streets. Apart from the fact that it compromises safety, this is the most common reason why few people choose to walk on sidewalks at night. There are a lot of all-in-one solar street lights with an innovational design that brings out the essence of well-lit sidewalks. Apart from the fact that it is energy-efficient, these street lights are also providing direct and vibrant light on the streets.

2. The Vehicles Dominate the Sidewalk

Instead of being able to pass through smoothly, small vehicles are parked on the streets. Being able to dominate the sidewalk limits the space where people can pass through. Spaces designated for small vehicles should be provided for the people to maximize the space designated for them. Most people park their bikes and motorcycles on sidewalks because there are limited spaces for them. This may seem like a small issue but it constitutes to why people choose not to walk on sidewalks.

3. The Space is Limited

In planning urban or rural sidewalks, the designated space depends on the volume of people. This is the primary consideration making it possible for the sidewalk to cater to the population. Know that not all have the means of transporting through bus or cab. Most people choose to walk block by block. When the space is limited, it will take time to walk from one block to another because you keep bumping on people.

Sidewalks with limited space are more likely not to be prioritized by people. This is one of the urban and rural issues which should be provided with a long term solution. Most people choose to walk on the side streets. Apart from the fact that it’s convenient, the human traffic is manageable compared to the ones in the sidewalk. Convenience and walkability feature is what the sidewalk should feature.

4. The Obstructions Affect Human Traffic

One of the best examples of sidewalk obstruction are trees that are too big for the sidewalks. With the limited space provided for the sidewalk, the growth of trees become uncontrollable. In choosing the landscapes for the sidewalks, the space it should be consuming ten to twenty years from now should be taken into consideration. Most landscape architects and designers choose large-scaled landscapes not for aesthetic purposes but for the natural sun-shading feature it provides.

5. The Sidewalks are Poorly Planned

When a sidewalk is highly utilized, they are more likely to undergo several planning and research for development. Not because there is a space designated for a sidewalk doesn’t stop the responsibilities of the planners. They have a lot of design considerations for sidewalks to consider before building, designing, and landscaping. These sidewalks are a life-long solution to people violating the rules and regulations.

6. The Sidewalks are Unfriendly for Pedestrians

Unfriendly sidewalks result to poor utilization. They are not used based on their fundamental function. Instead, they are used as an alternative designated for parking, portable toilets, alfresco for restaurants, and other means. When pedestrians find sidewalks friendly, they tend to maximize its utilization. They should be designated for people and not for any other purpose. This will not just manage the human traffic but most people will comply with pedestrian rules and regulations.


In order to come up with a walkable sidewalk, they should be designed according to what the users need. They need convenience and assurance that these are safe for utilization at any time of the day. Sidewalks should be friendly for people for them to consider walking instead of using public transportation. Moreover, a highly utilized sidewalk will constitute to less vehicular and human traffic.

Make It Count: 6 Small Changes You Can Do to Help Fight Global Warming

Global warming, according to all credible science, is one of the greatest threats to the planet today, and one that is going to get worse before it gets better.  According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body established to assess the science related to climate change, modern humans have never before experienced the observed changes in our global climate. Furthermore, some of these changes are irreversible over the next hundreds to thousands of years.

The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment report published in 2021 found that human-caused emissions have already warmed the climate by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit since pre-Industrial times. The global average temperature is expected to rise by 3 degrees F within the next few decades, and will affect all regions of Earth.

small things to help fight climate change

Many of the things we’ve taken for granted are contributing negatively to climate change, and in turn, there are many things that we can do as individuals to help reduce climate change. Below, we will talk about some of the small changes you can make to your behavior to help

1. Use public transportation more often

Granted, this is not something everyone can do, mainly because the US is not known for having quality public transportation in a lot of places. This is particularly true in certain cities like LA, where car culture rules and “carmaggedon” traffic regularly happens. Even the most populated places have problems with public transportation, and if you live in a rural town, you kind of have to own a car for a lot of things. Ultimately, if you can take public transportation instead of driving, or maybe even carpool, that helps make a difference.

Even if you live in a rural area, that doesn’t necessarily require a car to get around. Bikes are a great eco-friendly way to travel at least a short distance.

how students can help the environment

2. Try to use less energy

Every day, we use a ton of energy, and much of that energy is completely wasted. To cut back on your energy waste, make sure that you turn any lights off when you leave the room, and turn off surge protectors to prevent electronics from using power while in standby mode.

Additionally, try to reduce the number of devices connected to Wi-Fi. Especially with devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, you may find that you have a device in every room that uses Wi-Fi at all times. Not only does this save electricity, it also saves you money.

If you can bear it, try to use less heat and air conditioning in winter and summer respectively. A great way to reduce your energy needs is to make your home energy efficient. The best way to do this is to get your doors and windows redone, such that they keep the outside weather from getting inside when they’re closed.

3. Eat less meat and dairy

It’s understandable that a lot of people would feel reluctant to cut these out of their diets, even only partially. Cows contribute a ton of methane gas, with 1/3 of all human-caused methane gas coming from beef and dairy cattle. Ideally, if enough people abandoned beef and dairy, the industry would be forced to adjust to something less costly to the environment. There are a lot of types of farms out there, ranging from vegetable farms, to goat farms, to even marijuana farms.

4. Order only what you think you can eat

America is known for having particularly large portions, but despite that, those large portions often get wasted. Be sure to determine what you can handle, and try to avoid ordering more than that. Further, make sure that you buy fewer groceries if you find that you have some food and drinks that are expiring before you can get to them. If you have leftovers, you should also be sure to use alternatives to plastic wrapping and packaging to contain them.

5. Shop locally when possible

Shopping online contributes negatively to climate change, mainly due to the fact that it involves a lot of transportation, whether it be on planes, ships, or trucks. And obviously, these vehicles burn a lot of fossil fuels to get your items to you. Some items cannot be obtained locally, of course, but for those that can, try to get them locally. Additionally, shopping locally helps to better enrich your community.

6. Don’t worry about lawn culture

One of the most pernicious things you can do, honestly, is try to aim for that “perfect lawn.” Simply put, we don’t have water to spare for this, and it’s incredibly wasteful. You’d be shocked by how much water you use in your everyday life. And, to be frank, a perfect lawn is boring. Avoid using pesticides and fertilizers as well, as rainwater may cause these to flow from the sewer into bodies of water. Read this article to know about the effects of climate change on water resources.

Can we solve climate change on our own?

For all we can do to tackle climate change, it begs the question: is it enough? When all is said and done, among the biggest contributors to climate change isn’t individual action, or even collective action, it’s corporations. Sure, corporations cannot have this impact without consumers, but corporations have a ton of influence over what we consume, and how.

ways to use persuasion to bring awareness to the reality of climate change

There are a number of things corporations do to not only affect the climate, but also prevent action from being taken to course correct. One of the earliest examples of this was with ExxonMobil, which, despite conducting a study that found climate change to be a real threat, worked to debunk it publicly. More minor examples, such as Amazon destroying unsold inventory, are also a cause for concern.

Politicians are not much better, and in many ways even worse. For the most part, politicians are, at best, slowing climate change, and at worst, actively contributing to it. Even Democrats have been criticized for their lukewarm response to climate change, with the Green New Deal being unpopular with many more moderate and conservative Democrats.

Now, a lot of people would tell you that the best way to solve this is to vote, but it’s not quite that simple. The most important elections rarely have politicians who have a solid chance at winning who follow the science to its natural conclusion with respect to climate change. Thus, the vote often comes down to which politician you want to let you down.

The best suggestion that could be made is to either try to force politicians’ hand via protesting, or try to affect elections on a local level. This is far more manageable than trying to get your ideal President, and has a much higher level of success.

In the grand scheme of things, if we want to turn things around, we need to do something to force corporations and politicians to do better too. This can be done through boycotts, protests, and political advocacy, among other things, to create pressure to change their ways. So don’t let your potential contributions to climate change make you feel doom and gloom, as individuals can only do so much. Do what you can, and live your life.

5 Ways European Citizens Can Help the Environment

European residents must do their part to protect the environment, just like all other global citizens. Climate change is real, and thousands of scientists continue sounding the alarm that we need to change our ways. Future generations may have to deal with all kinds of shortages if we can’t figure out methods to reduce our wasteful tendencies.

We’ll talk about a few things the average European citizen can do to help the environment right now. Most of these actions won’t require that much behavior modification, and you can feel good when you do them.

How European Citizens Can Help the Environment

Dispose of Cleaning Products the Right Way

Studies have shown the hazards of many cleaning products. Half a century ago, many chemicals people used around their homes harmed both those using them and the environment when a homeowner disposed of them.

When you buy household cleaning products, check the labels to ensure they don’t contain anything that harms the planet. You can find household cleaners that specifically say they won’t cause damage when you use or dispose of them.

Rather than dumping potentially harmful chemicals down the drain or somewhere outside, you can often contact your town or city’s government and locate waste disposal centers that will take them and deal with them. You might collect all the leftover chemicals and receptacles you have and take them there once a month or so.

Bike to Work or Take Public Transportation

If you can, take public transportation to work, when you need to go to the grocery store, or if you have another errand to run. If you don’t live somewhere with buses or trains nearby, then you can ride a bike to reach the places where you need to go.

green travel

You might have to take your car somewhere occasionally, such as if you’re picking up something that’s too large to carry with you on a bike or to take on a train or bus. If you can reduce the number of times you drive, though, every time you save yourself a trip, you are helping the planet.

If you bike or walk somewhere, you’re also getting in some much-needed exercise. Many of us live much more sedentary lives these days, so walking or biking helps you get your steps in and burns some calories. That can save you money you’d spend by joining a gym.

Purchase an Electric or Hybrid Vehicle

Every year, more hybrid and electric vehicles come out as well. If you can get one of those instead of one that runs exclusively on gas, that’s very helpful to the environment.

If you have a gas-running car, you can trade it in, which will lower an electric or hybrid vehicle’s cost.

You can also buy a used or certified pre-owned electric or hybrid car. That should save you some money if you can’t afford a brand-new one.

how to join Tesla engineering team

Every year, European nations continue building more electric charging stations to help with this transition. The switch can’t happen instantaneously, but if you can join this gradual movement, you’ll know you’re taking a concrete step toward reducing your carbon footprint. That will reduce foreign oil dependency as well.

Use Long-Lasting Lightbulbs

When you go shopping, you can look for long-lasting lightbulbs instead of the old-fashioned models. It might not seem like that will make much of a difference, but an energy-efficient lightbulb can last far longer than the traditional kind.

Buying the energy-efficient kind with the coils will save you money since you will not have to replace them as often. You can usually count on these bulbs to last you for several years rather than a few months like you would get with the old-fashioned, solid version. Also, since you have to throw fewer of them away, they make less trash in landfills.

Shop Wisely

You can get in the habit of bringing cloth bags with you when you go grocery shopping or shopping for small items. You can reuse those bags again and again.


You can keep those bags in the car with you if you go run some errands. If you happen to forget the bags, you can also ask for paper bags in stores instead of plastic ones. Many stores no longer carry plastic bags anyway, but you can insist on paper ones when you buy things in the stores that do.

These small actions can help conserve our resources, and you can set a good example for your friends, neighbors, and kids as well.