"Where the Sidewalk Starts" a relatively new blog focusing on pedestrian safety issues is a welcome addition to the local blogosphere. Writer "Katie" an urban planner and suburban Southern Californian opened the blog because "The most downtrodden mode of transportation deserves a step up."
Where the Sidewalk Starts doesn’t come across as too preachy, consider a recent post that examines whether traffic calming really can cause dangers during emergencies; but still clearly comes from the view point that walking is a needed and fun part of the transportation experience. My favorite article is one that admiringly profiled a group in Greece that puts stickers (such as the one on the right) on cars that are parked illegally, on the sidewalk or blocking crosswalks.
As you can guess by looking at our blogroll, there aren’t a lot of writers focused on the plights of pedestrians compared to bicyclists and even transit riders. One well known bike advocate jokes that if someone sneezes on a bike ride they blog about it, someone makes a joke on Midnight Ridazz, then it gets picked up by Streetsblog who tips off LAist. By the time the story has died down, 100,000 people have read the story of the sneezy rider. Meanwhile, if someone gets knifed in the back while crossing the street nobody even notices.
While Katie doesn’t reveal her exact location, we can guess that it’s not Downtown Los Angeles because she regularly cites news in the Ventura County Star and other more suburban papers. However, I would guess that some of the things she experiences and has to respond to in suburban Southern California more closely resemble the experiences of people in suburban L.A. County and even parts of the city than what is regularly covered in Streetsblog.