Sidewalk shade

While in Switzerland, one of the things I have appreciated has been shade on the sidewalk.

Building casting shade.

Shade is provided by a combination of trees and buildings, but what is interesting is that as crooked as the streets may be, there always seems to be some part of the sidewalk in the shade. This seems to stand in stark contrast to how sidewalks and road withstand are managed in the USA. One interesting component is perhaps the building height. Here in Switzerland the buildings are three to four floors above ground. Yet there seems to be plenty of sky, light, trees, and sidewalks in the shade. The shade factor is not something I’ve really seen considered in walkability scores for US property and city planning.

Shaded sidewalk.

Traffic circles & crosswalks

A Swiss crosswalk

One of the things that has irritated me quite a bit about crosswalks in Eugene has been their placement relative to intersections. If a driver is supposed to yield to pedestrians, then crosswalk should be extended away from a traffic circle, so that a stopping or yielding vehicle that stops for a pedestrian also does not at the same time I impede traffic in the traffic circle. The crosswalk in the image shown allows for a full bus length between the crosswalk and the traffic circle.