From Nowhere To Nowhere

IMG_6185There is a pedestrian bridge that crosses over the I-70/I-71 highway near our house.  Unfortunately, it really goes from nowhere to nowhere.

On the German Village side, the bridge is located directly behind the Columbus Africentric Early College School.  To access the bridge, you either have to walk through the school grounds, right between the school building and the playgrounds, or cut behind the school, on an access road between the rear of the school and the freeway.  On the downtown side, the bridge ends mid-block on East Fulton Street, in a kind of parking area.

It’s hard to image the pedestrian bridge being used by anyone other than, potentially, schoolkids and staff at Columbus Africentric.  From the school’s standpoint, that’s probably a good thing — who would want a bunch of strangers constantly walking through school grounds, anyway?  And who knows what will become of the bridge when the school moves to its new location, which is supposed to happen next year.

I’m a big proponent of improving walking and biking access between the German Village area and downtown; walkers and bikers tend to knit diverse neighborhoods together and encourage businesses to locate in the gap areas between established areas.  However, the noisy, clogged I-70/I-71 freeway is a huge physical and mental barrier.  More and better bridges would help, and a traffic-free, walkers and bikers only pedestrian bridge would be great — but it’s got to follow routes that walkers and bikers want to take.  A pedestrian bridge that goes from nowhere to nowhere is just a frustrating waste.

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