Running along Colorado Avenue NW recently, I came across this scene: a sidewalk missing, so no place to run that’s not in the street. Now the usual response to this is to run on the pavement, but why? Isn’t the flat grassy area all public property? If you look in the distance, you can see a utility pole in that same flat grassy area, so its city property, not private property.
So I ran on the grass.
My knees were happy, as grass is softer than pavement, and Taxi Dog was happy, her paws like grass much more than pavement. But I wonder if the homeowners are going to be happy? Would you be? Especially if you were excited because your home didn’t have a sidewalk just to keep pedestrians away.
I bet they sort of expect you to walk/run on their grass, I’m sure when they go for a stroll they do the same! Is Taxi doing better, these days?
I know in Arlington it is explicitly legal to walk in someone’s yard if there is no sidewalk. My daughter and her friends were chased off the lawn of the stereotypical grumpy old man next door–there was no sidewalk, and instead of letting the kids walk along the edge of his lawn, the neighbor was trying to make them walk in the street. A helpful police officer let the neighbor know that, indeed, there’s always a right-of way, even if there is no sidewalk.