|Happy Follows Function|
I posted recently about the importance of useful connectivity for paths: to be useful for cyclists, they shouldn't just be linear parks isolated in the middle of car-full nobikesland, but routes which connect up with a network of other routes in a logical, well-signed manner. This little connector path between the Arizona Canal and Lafayette Blvd, which parallels N. Arcadia Drive (48th Street) is just about ideal from my point of view. It is quiet, it is shaded by some big old trees, water runs alongside in the irrigation canal to the left of the trees, and it connects one cycling route along the Arizona Canal with another on Lafayette. And from this perspective, Camelback Mountain looks positively scenic. At each end, it is slightly camouflaged by the big old trees which shade it.
Now, you may look at this, and say, "So what, it's just a sidewalk?" But you see, that subtle functionality is a sign of a well-designed path, once which does its job and fits comfortably into the neighborhood around it, connecting route to route. When you see the terrible alternatives, for example the street in front of the school down at the bottom of my Superman Never Made Any Money post, or the dehumanizing abominations in the car-centered mall culture around a place like Metrocenter, for example, you can start to see how bad things can get, and really take a hankering to a happy spot like this one. We can do this. Get up. Go ride.