A few days ago I wrote about Virginia’s law outlawing cul-de-sacs, and how they’re one of the biggest challenges to route planning in Michiana and especially Granger.
Here are my top five most infuriating non-links in Michiana:
1. Park to Catalpa: This is the worst in my book. Just a few more yards of pavement and Catalpa would connect all the way to Edison Lakes Pkway, Meijer, and Walmart. As it is, I take a short zag on Main to cut through the parking lot of a nice orthodontist.
2. Argyle at Erskine Village: Arrrgh! Some bozo thought it would be a good idea to put a fence here, cutting off the attractive Twyckenham/York route from south South Bend’s biggest shopping center. As it is, riders must either navigate the stairs behind Kroger on Alpine or attempt the tricky right-to-left from Brookton.
3. Sugar Maple to Portageway: Classic. This is a quintessential example, almost a platonic ideal of the non-link form. You can tell that it used to be connected, and Google Maps says it’s connected. But by satellite you can see that some jerk built a fence across the road, thereby dumping the whole Maple Lane Apartments complex to Bendix. Sad.
4. LaSalle Trail to Kenilworth: Nobody will build a crossing across Cleveland because they don’t want responsibility for anyone crossing the deadly Cleveland Rd. Instead everyone is forced to zig along Cleveland (illegally if from the north), which is even worse! It’s a classic example of CYA planning. Don’t forget that Cleveland itself is a result of the cul-de-sacs north of South Bend–to find another east-west route you have to go miles to the north or south, a fact with tragic consequences.
5. St Patrick’s County Park: It’s a nice enough park, but it blocks Laurel Rd from Adams Rd, frustrating a complete back-roads route from South Bend to Niles.
Honorable Mention: Anything crossing South Bend Ave east-west. Wouldn’t it be great if Howard or Campeau were actually through streets? Right now Corby’s your only option, through one of the nastiest intersections in the city.
This doesn’t even touch on Granger or the non-linking parking lots between Grape and Main in Mishiwaka. They’re too numerous to count, but collectively they form a real barrier to both motorized and non-motorized transit.
Can you add to the list of really frustrating non-links? What are some possible solutions to this problem? Do you have a catchier word for the phenomenon than “non-link”?
In a few days I’ll post my top five most satisfying links, where some saint went out of her way to create some truly sublime connections.