Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 29

Thread: Rubber sidewalks?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    438

    Rubber sidewalks?

    Has anyone ever used one, been involved with a project with one, etc... ??? I'm thinking there could be some great application in parks and other specific places, not sure about the longevity of them and other issues. Curious to know. Maybe they haven't been around long enough to know... Seems like a great idea though.

  2. #2
    Moving at my own pace....... Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    Here's the link to an article about them. I'm also curious about their longevitiy and, in particular, how they hold up to extreme heat. Unfortunately, anything with a higher cost will have a harder sell to the powers-that-be.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  3. #3
    I saw something about this yesterday on CNN I think. Looks interesting and I bet it could ge much more widespread application when and if the price comes down. At three times the cost of concrete when many of the communities in this area aren't even spending money on concrete sidewalks is going to be a tough sell unless they last 3 or more times as long as concrete.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    De Noc
    Posts
    17,482
    The article made our fair newspaper.

    Click on the company website, check out the installation listing.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Snarkville
    Posts
    6,587
    It could definately save money in lawsuits. I wonder how well wheelchairs and skateboards and similar wheeled contraptions roll on them

  6. #6
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Downtown Atlanta
    Posts
    894
    Maybe they'll keep joggers out of the street since it's got to be easier on the joints than concrete or asphalt.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  7. #7
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    ^-- Most joggers don't seem to know that seeing as they run down the middle concrete lanes of paved MUPs instead of the side asphalt lanes.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    438
    I went to the mfg.'s website and got some of the specs. Imaplanner I'm sure they are ADA compliant, otherwise they wouldn't have a chance at flying in a municipal application. They are rated at 3,000 psi which is like a standard sidewalk or even a typical parking lot, so I think you wouldn't have a problem roller blading, skateboarding, etc... across it. I'm just curious about real world applicability. Do they really last quite a bit longer than a standard concrete walk??? In areas with trees I could see it, but in open fields without roots, and exposed to the sun all day would it hold up longer than a standard concrete walk??? I have my doubts, but I don't know anything about it. I wouldn't mind trying some of this on my projects, but I don't it would fly like others have said, the cost just won't allow it!!!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    1,150
    Quote Originally posted by Margin Walker
    I saw something about this yesterday on CNN I think. Looks interesting and I bet it could ge much more widespread application when and if the price comes down. At three times the cost of concrete when many of the communities in this area aren't even spending money on concrete sidewalks is going to be a tough sell unless they last 3 or more times as long as concrete.
    Not having a go at you personally bud, but if the people are too effing cheap for a nasty comncrete sidewalk then we can safely say that living in a hellish unurban environment is what they richly deserve. What do people DO with all that money?

    Sorry 'bout the rant It just seems from some of the professionals' posts on this site that urban form is something few citizens seem to care about.
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  10. #10
    Quote Originally posted by Luca
    Not having a go at you personally bud, but if the people are too effing cheap for a nasty comncrete sidewalk then we can safely say that living in a hellish unurban environment is what they richly deserve. What do people DO with all that money?

    Sorry 'bout the rant It just seems from some of the professionals' posts on this site that urban form is something few citizens seem to care about.

    No offense taken.

    Aside from the fact that most of the communities in my region are rural with small or non-existant villages, this is New Hampshire man! "Live Free or Die!" is our motto! That loosely translates to "We don't want to pay taxes" and we are notoriously cheap. In many communities, the leadership has a hard time convincing the tax payers to pay for anything that isn't "essential". Concrete sidewalks are not considered essential and with a few notable exceptions asphalt sidewalks are built if they are built at all. Most of our larger communities do have a core sidewalk network but they rarely get expanded or improved, although there are again a few notable exceptions to that in communities where the town centers depend on pedestrian traffic.

    FYI. The vast majority of New Hampshire communities use the Town Meeting system where the voters approve the municipal budget directly instead of the budget being approved by elected officials. This makes anything that isn't seen as essential by the majority of voters the subject of intense scrutiny as to why the money is being spent on "sidewalks" when it could be spent on [insert something more important here]. Often very good projects get rejected due to what I like to call "The Curmudgeon Factor" of a group of vocal, anti-everything voters that basically don't want to pay for anything and so make everyone else miserable.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mique28's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Millywauk
    Posts
    55
    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    Here's the link to an article about them. I'm also curious about their longevitiy and, in particular, how they hold up to extreme heat. Unfortunately, anything with a higher cost will have a harder sell to the powers-that-be.

    Thanks for the link and thanks to others for starting this thread. It is the sharing of ideas such as these that make this website very helpful. I was out of the loop on this rubber sidewalk stuff... Obviously it sounds like the jury is out on them but it is always great to hear of potentially innovative approaches.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    n areas with trees I could see it, but in open fields without roots, and exposed to the sun all day would it hold up longer than a standard concrete walk??? I have my doubts, but I don't know anything about it. I wouldn't mind trying some of this on my projects, but I don't it would fly like others have said, the cost just won't allow it!!!
    In the olden days in Chicago they would put metal placks into sidewalks so you know the contractor that made it. Sometimes you might find a sidwalk with a metal plack that says "Fredrickson's 1919." Then they switched to the name stamped in the concrete, so you might see something like "O'Mally's Construction 1956." Nowdays they don't want any evidence of the deed. Invariably stamped sidewalks are in way better condition than unstamped sidewalks, and placked sidewalks are better still. Given the way the trendline is heading these things will outlive the average concrete sidewalk in a few years if they can manage to get through a single winter.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Highlight of the lowland
    Posts
    322
    ...yeah, Jordan kind of alluded to it already. Frost damage? If they hold up better than concrete (i.e the pavement doesn't get brittle after repeated bouts of extreme cold or cycling between above and below freezing) and if it really is resistant to chemicals, these could be a huge long-run cost saver in northern inner-city neighborhoods.
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Elmira, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    60
    It sounds interesting, and a good way to reuse old tires.

    But I too am a bit skeptical and would like to see how it holds up to snow, ice, freeze/thaw, being shoveled, having salt put on it etc... being in Canada that would be important.
    "your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part!"

  15. #15
    Cyburbian transguy's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Midwest-ish
    Posts
    218
    I was recently part of a meeting where we were approached to support an effort to reconstruct the sidewalks in the inner city. One of the suggestions that was given was to not try and sell the proposal as simply a sidewalk project, but rather as a revitalization effort where the reconstruction of the sidewalks (some of which are in horrible condition) is only one element. Another idea that was brought up was to try and sell these rubber sidewalks as a way to build support for the project. Are these a realistic option in depressed areas? We have a hard enough time trying to get people to spend any money in these areas; should we even consider trying to sell them something that has so many unkowns and is this expensive?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    438
    Well these walks have been tested in freezing and thawing conditions, I believe 15 cycles and held up well. I always tend to think real world conditions can't be replicated. One concern to me is theft? How easy are these tiles to pull up. It seems like in some parts of the City anything removable will be removed! Call it Vlaude's Law. It's sad, I've seen stolen park equipment, stolen porta-potties, stolen bleachers, stolen planting edgers, stolen trees and plantings, yada... yada... yada...

    I would like to see some type of warranty with this, but then again as Tommy Boy said - 'Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer's sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me.' That said I'd be a bit skeptical until some of these cities using it have some feedback after its been in place a few years and we have some good data on the product in real world setting. I would be hesitant to use it on a big project...

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,161
    How slick (or not slick) are these sidewalks when wet?

    I'm assuming this is similar to the way they do tracks (the running kind), and those are pretty slick when wet.

  18. #18
    I can see the usefulness of these in certain areas, such as hospitals, daycares/schools, nursing homes and so forth where slip and fall accidents are more likely. I fail to see, however, how a root that can lift concrete sidewalks wouldn't also lift a rubber sidewalk.

    Fact is, the sidewalk that is heaved from a tree root is generally easy to see and therefore avoid: it is the slight upheaval that is hardest to see and most likely to cause someone to trip. I'd like to know more about how these walks are installed to avoid that situation.

    Now, rubber curbs might be a fantastic idea.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    438
    Gedunker, I'm not sure they are saying they won't be moved by tree roots, as I'm sure with time most things will. I think what they are saying is they can be adjusted to work with the tree roots, as the sections can be taken up and put back into place. I'm sure the surface is ok when wet, I don't know what the friction is, but I'd assume ok since they meet ADA requirements...

  20. #20

    Not real impressed

    These do not impress me for a few reasons:

    1. Cost - IF they are using recycled tires, which people PAY to get rid of, why do they cost 3x as much as concrete? You're telling me it costs that much to heat up the tires and remove the steel belts? They should be at MOST half the cost of concrete. Want to buy some snake oil while you're at it?

    2. Freeze/Thaw- Rubber expands and contracts at a greater rate than concrete, which would eventually cause buckling, irregardless of the system used to lag these into the ground or each other. Tree roots would still create "humps" in the walk, which could be as dangerous as cracks or breaks in concrete walks. I agree that this surface would get slick easily with minimal water/ice/snow. The surface doesn't look as coarse as concrete, and that the surface would eventually wear smooth after usage. Vlaude, ADA doesn't have a requirement for surface coefficient of friction (for roughness) on walkways that I know of - please enlighten me if I'm wrong, cause I would like to see how to measure that.....

    3. Longevity - If concrete sidewalks last 30-40 years+ (if installed properly), then dollar-for-dollar these are supposed to last 90-120 years + before being repaired?? Humbug I say....I'd rather have a compacted aggregate path

    Will sidewalk chalk still work on rubber????
    Who's gonna re-invent the wheel today?

  21. #21

    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    15
    Was wondering if anyone had any experience with Rubber Sidewalks? How they hold up to heat/cold/salt and snow removal, and how they look after a few years ?

    My hometown is considering a streetscaping project to expand brick sidewalks but I'm interested in alernatives including printed asphalt, decorative concrete, and rubber sidewalks.

    RaneyOnline@yahoo.com

    According to an article I read:

    Sidewalk chalk will not work on the ruber sidewalks.

    The noise of skateboards, wheelchairs, strollers would be absorbed by the rubber sidewalk.

    Spacing between the sidewalk "panels" allow for heat expansion and aid in draining much the same way the standard concrete sidewalk does.


    The questions that still remain are Durability after a few years of heat/sun, salt and shoveling, etc.
    Last edited by Gedunker; 08 Apr 2007 at 10:50 AM. Reason: moved, merged identical threads, posting

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Hamburg, Germany
    Posts
    3
    I have seen (fairly soft) rubber surfaces on some playgrounds. I guess for sidewalks there would be used a harder type but I still think rubber sidewalks would feel nice to walk on because they don't have that artificial hardness of concrete but resemble natural surfaces like grass, moss, or soil. I only wonder if stiletto heels or spikes could damage them.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Plan 9's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    194
    Sounds like a good way to get rid of all those old tire dumps.
    "Future events such as these will affect you in the future."

  24. #24

    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    15

    Lowest bid

    It's unfortunate that in America we always award public projects to the lowest bidder. If we would think like the Europeans then we would invest in thicker concrete for our hiways and not spend so much money every year patching them or replacing them with asphalt, we would have sidewalks included in every building plan, and we wold have buildings that will last long enough to be monuments for future generations.


  25. #25
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Tullinge Sweden
    Posts
    190
    At least 60 cities have run trials:
    See an old article at: npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5615795

    Seattle: ... see seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/243444_ncenter05.html

    Washington DC started its test on rubber sidewalks in 2006. Here's a link to an old newspaper report... washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/01/AR2006070101087.html

    Anybody from Seattle or Washington who can tell us how the experiment has worked? How was it to shovel snow on a rubber sidewalk? (why should it iŽbe different?)

    Incidentally, the Swedish national roads authority announced this week that they will be starting an experiment making highways using rubber from old tires. They expect that the material will wear better, be much quieter, and will be more environmentally friendly than current materials -which produce a lot of particular nasties especially in winter when studded tires are used. I don't expect the roads to be any bouncier.

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 1
    Last post: 11 Jun 2012, 3:16 PM
  2. Sidewalks to nowhere?
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 7
    Last post: 25 May 2006, 4:29 PM
  3. Replies: 19
    Last post: 28 Jul 2003, 12:25 PM
  4. Sidewalks
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 20 Feb 1998, 1:43 PM