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and the sidewalk leads....

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
Messages
386
Points
12
I was driving through a suburban neighborhood this afternoon. I noticed that there were no sidewalks along the street, but each home had a sidewalk that led from the street to the front stoop. The street was two lane, busy and narrow. What's the point of this sidewalk? What's the point of a "front door" in a case such as this? Are we so ingrained with "traditional" homes that function becomes void? Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? Does another thread address this?
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Sounds like a good submission to Kunstler's Eyesore of the Month. :)
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
It is an interesting observation. I can only think of a couple of places where I have seen this. They are older places, developed before streets were paved and sidewalks put in. The walk was there, I would guess, so that a car or carriage could drop people off and they would have a good surface to walk on to the front door.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
The front door has become necessary only for guests. Front doors and walkways are not required, but who really wants to have guests walk around back or come through the garage? The walkway gets people parking in the street to your door without fumbling through the yard. Residents may have no need for their front door. Many people enter and exit through the garage when they are out for a walk or getting the mail. One of my neighbors answers the doorbell by opening the garage!
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
My little townhouse complex has that problem. We all enter through our garages, which face onto side alleys or a private dead end shared driveway alley. Visitors often don't know where to come because our "front doors" open into a private courtyard that is locked and quite dim at night.

It is a shame to have guests come through a garage. But, we don't get too many peddlars.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,374
Points
38
Ahh, the joys of historic-district living! A 9'-6" wide public sidewalk (in need of repair, admittedly); a 5'-0" private walk from the ROW to the front porch; an 8'-0" x 32'-0" front porch, covered, with porch swing, two bentwood rockers, a tricycle and a kid's scooter, flowers in season, the national colors flying on patriotic days; and, a 42" x 8'-0" full view beveled-glass front door. We use the porch frequently and enjoy conversations with neighbors on both sides who also use their porches.

What honks me off is a subdivision where a lot never sold and we have a sidewalk that stops for 80' before starting up again. :-#
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Maybe it's there to check the mail? Is the mailbox at the end of the walk?

Can you park in the street? maybe if they have more guests that can fit in the driveway it's for them?
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
I recall the Villas, NJ this is a common thing, and yes, the mailbox is at the street at the end of the walkway.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Very common in the first tier or "inner ring" suburbs. They are called Service Walks around here, and yes, they took the ladies from the curb to the door in style when the gents dropped them off, as was proper. A lady would never get out of the car IN in garage. Of course, a true gent would open the door and walk the lady to the door....

You uncouth savages! :)
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
Chet said:
Very common in the first tier or "inner ring" suburbs . . .
Yup, like my house. They're just paved walkways to the street just like any other paved walkway to "welcome" you to the front door and keep you from walking on the grass. It be would be stranger without it. I do wish we had sidewalks, but in our neighborhood it doesn't stop people from walking.

Hey, I didn't plan the neighborhood. :)
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
The house I grew up in had this. The road in front was also two-lane without sidewalks. (But there was a linear park across the street and plenty of peds in the street). Anyway, The walkway was because when we had guests (as we often did) people parked on the street and walked up the walk to the door. I also like the way it looked to say “welcome”. :)

***and yes, it would have been considered in an inner-ring suburb.
 
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