Scroll around that map up there a bit. You see the "A" in a balloon? That sits outside a Barnes & Noble store in Syracuse (if you know the area, it's on Erie Boulevard East).
Across the street from that book behemoth you'll find Honeybaked Ham (a sort-of deli), a Subway, a Panera, a Best Buy, an Office Max, a K-Mart, and Fleet Feet (a runner's shop), among other things. If you spent some time scrolling around the map – which is zoomed in enough for you to tell – you won't see a crosswalk anywhere close to that Barnes & Noble.
I know firsthand, because if I leave my office and cut across the parking lots behind buildings and sneak by the cell phone store, I can walk directly across Erie to the bookstore. It winds up being about an 8 minute walk.
And to get across the high-traffic Erie Boulevard, you pretty much say a prayer and run (even if you're not religious – it's amazing how a 4,000-pound steel box at 45 miles an hour will help you find G-d). I've only made the walk a couple of times, and usually in early spring, the first time it gets warm enough to take a nice walk on lunch.
Joel Kidder apparently preferred walking to and from the Barnes & Noble as well, and on December 4 he was almost across Erie, having left the store, when he was
He was a lifelong learner, a professor emeritus in philosophy, and, it seems, an all-around nice guy.
This isn't just a problem for those of us who prefer to walk. If you take the bus around town, you have to cross Erie one way or the other to complete your round trip.
Kidder's unfortunate accident appears to be spawning a discussion about the days when there was
If you put a bookstore there, it's on a bus route, it's safe and walkable, and people would go. There are also two nice book shops on James Street, in another wonderfully walkable neighborhood.
But I would love for the Erie East area to be walkable, as well. I live nearby, I work nearby. If you make only part of the city walkable, you still lose.