<a href=”http://www.atlantatimemachine.com/downtown/richs4.htm”>Check this out</a>
Atlanta Time Machine is a great before/after website. One of the pictures of a corner I’m familiar with is from 70 years ago. Note the narrowness of the sidewalk, how crowded it is, and the willingness of people to be in the street along with the cars, trolleys, and trolleybuses.
Now look at the same vantage from 2004. People and transit are missing, replaced by cars and buses, but the sidewalk is wider. I could not find the exact thread, but one commenter on this picture praised the increased investment in sidewalks as a sign of progress in Atlanta’s walkability.
Wide sidewalks do not make a place walkable. And wide unused sidewalks are just an advertisement to people in traffic that they deserve all the space of that sidewalk The only thing keeping them from adding another lane is probably the line of light poles near the curb. That, and the fact that Atlanta solved its parking problem by making downtown into a place with lots of parking that no one wants to visit.