Gravel on an Uptown Street

I only had energy for commuting today, so my bike ride just took me up to work and back, workaday pedaling, just trying to get there and back. As I rode up to my house I noticed this new addition of gravel to the front of the place, in that netherworld between street and sidewalk. Not to get too deep or anything, but whoa, that’s a seriously liminal space. If it’s the sidewalk, fixing the ditch that had formed there is the job of the property owner–in this case, my landlady, or maybe the neighbor; it’s a continuous stretch, and it isn’t easy to tell who is in charge of what here. If this is the street, fixing it is the state’s job. In either case, getting a fix is unlikely. Property owners have no real incentive to maintain sidewalks. They seem like public property, so shouldn’t they be maintained publicly? But of course public maintenance has broken down–we just don’t fund infrastructure like we used to. This spot has been like this since I moved in, and I was used to the part where it filled with water on rainy days–move your car up six feet to higher ground! But today, when I saw this, all I saw was my bicycle slipping out from under me as I try to navigate that liminal space. Sigh.

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