Walking and the pedestrian environment
July 28, 2004
Harborview Path (San Diego)

Great ped/bike path from the airport to downtown.

Terminal SidewalkI exited Terminal 1 and headed east. I was worried as I saw the large waiting area abruptly narrow ahead of me. No problem, the sidewalk continued along next to an attractive landscaping bed. Right off the bat, though, the lessons from Pete Lagerwey that I take for granted started coming back to me. Why have they not left a narrow strip between the sidewalk and roadway?

N Harbor DriveI decided to cross North Harbor Drive to the bay side, hoping for a nicer view than that adjacent to the airport. I was worried about the size of this roadway. Was walking from the airport the right choice?

path startsIn fact, this was arguably the nicest part of my trip. Along N Harbor Drive is the Harborview fitness path. I passed and was passed by many joggers and bicyclists. I even saw a couple of other airport walkers stopped for breaks on shaded benches.

break outIt really was nice. It had many rest stops with benches and trash cans. It was lined with trees and shrubs and grass. Somehow it was cooler than downtown, possibly because of the proximity to water.

constructionOddly, no alternative route was supplied for this huge roped off area. I managed around it on the grass and dirt. A jogger from the other direction got surprised and confused. He walked over the construction barrier and through the roped off zone. This is the type of thing that the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board wants to avoid, so I was a bit comforted to see that other cities have the same problem.

caution xingMotorists receive warning that this isn't your average crosswalk. Perhaps you ignore pedestrians normally, but you had better pay attention this time or someone might get hurt.

slatted fenceDon't take this the wrong way - I loved the path and was glad to have a hospitable route from the airport to downtown. Here are a few critical comments, though. There wasn't a good reason to have the slats in this fence. It just detracted from the views.

fencingHere's what it looked like a dozen yards up the trail, where they left the slats out for some reason. It was the same property. Although the foreground is concrete, I enjoy this view of the water more.

lightsHere was another small problem. The ground lights, included for visibility and safety, act to constrict the pathway significantly. I don't think two bicycles could safely pass by each other here. Another point is that the pathway drops down to street level for the driveway. At first I thought this was possibly a requirement of the property owner, but this was a common sight throughout the day.

treesObligatory palm tree photo. Every trip to southern California needs one. It was a very pleasant walk.

coast guardHere's the entrance to the Coast Guard station. Significantly, an entering guardsman saw me and the old man across the street and stopped his car to let us pass. My exposure was very limited, but I didn't experience hostility from drivers while I was in San Diego.

harborAfter the coast guard station, and the spectacle of a landing helicopter, the harbor opened up along the pathway. The view was very nice of downtown and the naval ships and anchored pleasure craft. I quickly heated up under the relentless sun, though, and wished a few trees had been included.

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at July 28, 2004 5:27 PM
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