Sidewalks are supposed to go somewhere, right?
Well, maybe in some other universe.
Back here in
our universe, take a deep breath and prepare to step aboard

The Sidewalk to Nowhere . . .

In downtown Jefferson City, Missouri:

Two disconnected bits of sidewalk
Instead of putting a crosswalk to connect these two sections of sidewalk, designers had in mind that pedestrians would divert 100 yards to a nearby intersection to cross the street, then divert back to continue their stroll across the street from where they started. Note that the actual pedestrians in this photo have a very different idea.

This sidewalk not only leads nowhere--it goes one step further by leading directly into a mud pit:
This sidewalk leads to a mud pit . . .
Yes, there's nothing one enjoys more at the end of a pleasant walk than a wallow in a MUD PIT. Why didn't we think of this sooner?

Mud pit photos courtesy of Randy Niere

Blue Ridge Boulevard crossing 350 Highway in Raytown, MO:

This is the only place designed for pedestrians to cross 350 Hwy for at least 5 to 10 miles in either direction.

350 Hwy cuts right through the Kansas City, Raytown, and Lee's Summit, Missouri.

This isn't a wide sidewalk, nor is the foot traffic separated from the 40 MPH motor traffic on Blue Ridge. The best thing that can be said about it, is that it is there at all.

But what does it connect to? Despite the fact that much of Blue Ridge Cutoff is residential in character, it is heavily traveled, and many metro bus stops are located on it, the concrete strip you see here is the only bit of paved sidewalk on Blue Ridge Cutoff for at least two miles in either direction.

Note the rutted trail leading through the grass to the concrete sidewalk. This "non-facility" gets some pretty heavy usage . . .

Gregory Boulevard and 350 Hwy in Raytown:

Gregory Boulevard is residential in character and has sidewalks on both sides of 350 Hwy. Evidently, though, connecting the sidewalks across the intersection was a problem just too difficult for designers, because the sidewalks stop abruptly just short of the intersection on both sides.

In Parkville:

To the left and the right are two very busy highways. Imagine that you are pedestrian who has followed this sidewalk to its bitter end. Where are you going to go now?

49th and Brookside, South Plaza area, Kansas City, Missouri:

How is the pedestrian supposed to get out of this one?

When construction crews close a street, at least they find an alternative route and post detour signs. Perhaps pedestrians are worthy of the same treatment?

Blue Ridge Cutoff and 63rd Street near the border of Raytown and Kansas City, MO:

Note that the sidewalk ends both for travelers who are turning left and continuing straight. This is right in the middle of a heavily populated, heavily traveled, commercial and residential area.

59th Street and Ralston in Raytown, MO:

The photo on the left shows how the sidewalk ends, right in front of a building used by the school district as a pre-school. The photo on the right shows the overgrown ditch in the opposite direction, where the pre-schoolers and their parents would be expected to walk, were they hardy enough to continue after the rather abrupt end of the sidewalk.

Blue Ridge Blvd and 62nd Street in Raytown, MO:

There must be some hidden symbolism in the fact that one of the vehicles blocking the sidewalk is a hearse . . .

Raytown Road, at the boundary between Raytown and Kansas City, MO:

The sidewalk stops as the street crosses the border from Raytown into Kansas City. Pedestrians, of course, don't stop but continue as best they can . . .

They're not afraid, because they have grown used to taking

The Sidewalk to Nowhere . . .

Photographs and text by Brent Hugh ( unless otherwise noted.

Brent Hugh
5916 Arlington Ave
Raytown, MO 64133

Images and text on this page is hereby placed in the public domain and may be reproduced, published, displayed, used in presentations, or used for any purpose whatsoever without requesting permission of the author/photographer.

Kansas City Streets as seen by a pedestrian

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