After living on campus for a while, it’s easy to forget that there are cities outside of Rutgers. For my blog post, I look at elements of urban design on campus that I vehemently dislike, and those in cities that I prefer.
What is it: Katzenbach dorm and bus stop across the street.
Dislike: When I’m on the EE or F at 10:30am or 5pm, I can’t help but think about how pointless this bus stop is. Location wise, it is behind Neilson Dining Hall, which on the other side is a quick walk to Biel, a central bus stop on campus. In my opinion, the Cook/Douglass campus is extremely walkable on the paved trails and sidewalks, though the bus makes the space appear large and difficult to navigate. While I think several of the bus stops on Cook could be eliminated, the Katzenbach stop is especially inconvenient because it transitions from a main road to a small road, right before a traffic circle. This gives the bus route a local vibe, encouraging people to use the bus for a place 3 stops away instead of just walking.
What is it: Boyd Park adjacent to Route 18.
Dislike: Whenever possible, I try to run at a park instead on the sidewalk, since grass can be easier on your shins, you don’t have to stop for traffic every block, and is more enjoyable with a natural view. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with Boyd Park the first time I went. To run to the park, you need to cross route 18, and despite the traffic signs, it feels unsafe and inconvenient. All the bridges connected to the park only have a pedestrian sidewalk, so you are still very exposed to the fast traffic. The park itself has a gorgeous view of the Raritan River, but its limited length and exposure to route 18 doesn’t have the relaxing, slow-paced vibe I would like parks to have.
For the elements of urban design that I like I decided to go with other cities.
What is it: Herald Square in New York City!
Likes: Not only is this public space a refreshing spot to go to for a break from the stress of city life, it is a literal break in the towering, crowding buildings surrounding it. I like these public squares because they are a pleasant place to rest and enjoy the moment, and eases the room on sidewalks for pedestrians. On the other side of the street there are food vendors
What is it: Rue de Petit-Champlain, Old Quebec
Likes: I love that Rue de Petit-Champlain is a pedestrian only street, and how the cobblestone adds to the historic atmosphere of the city. While it is a very touristy area, the buildings alongside the street still have an authentic feel. As one of the few fortified cities in North America, Old Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite being primarily known for its historical sites, streets such as this one keep the city vibrant and alive.