Alternatives to pathway apartheid,ii

worn dirt trail along path. Arrow indicates NCC will sod this strip to repair it.

sod laid last August, presumably to be removed and replaced agin this year as joggers wear it out

typical worn jogging path along asphalt

I am always curious when cycling the path as to why joggers run along side the path instead of on it. (Being a non-jogger, I can only believe people who claim the gravel, dips and hollows, and hard-packed dirt path is softer than the asphalt).

Eventually, they wear a complete dirt trail along the path, killing the green stuff that grows along the path in an effort to jog amongst the green stuff … what was that song about pave paradise and put up a parking lot?

Anyhow, the NCC eventually takes umbridge at the dirt paths, and removes the compacted soil, adds new topsoil, and then sod. The pictures above show some sections along the western parkway.

But the new sod doesn’t last long, the relentless pounding of Nike beats it back into dirt. Now I see paint markings on the path showing the NCC is about to dig out last year’s sod and put in new sod. The cycle of life…

In other cities I have used bike paths on which the outermost 1 foot portion of asphalt was over laid with a yellow or brown softer material just for joggers. In Curacao, this material was embossed with a wood pattern, like a boardwalk. Elsewhere, it had a raised dot pattern, presumably for grip and drainage.

Maybe we don’t need a separate set of pathways and the grief that comes from trying to regulate who rides or jogs on (or beside) which pathway. A softer edge strip won’t affect my cycling on the central lane of the asphalt path, and might keep joggers off the greenery and in an expected location, to the better cooperation, sharing, and enjoyment of all. This won’t solve all our conflicts, but it should be cheaper than doubling the paths.

3 thoughts on “Alternatives to pathway apartheid,ii

  1. It could be because jogging on pavement is bad for your knees. I’ve never understood the appeal of jogging, but that’s what I’ve heard.

  2. Ha, I mentioned the resodding in my comments on the Citizen’s article on the speed of pathway users from last Thursday.

    The rule of thumb for runners: dirt is better than asphalt; asphalt is better than concrete. So people with chronic knee issues or recovering from knee injuries likely choose to run beside the path as opposed to on it, especially if they are running over long distances or long periods of time.

    Someone suggested in the Citizen article that the NCC should consider gravel beside the paths as opposed to twinning/apartheid. I, along with most other runners, would love this option. It just seems like such as waste of money to resod every year.

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