City Sidewalks


Daily Prompt
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Sidewalks are always taken for granted, unless there aren’t any, then you have to walk on a bumpy, well trodden path. Sidewalks were designed to take the stumbling out of walking on old paths, they work very well. If a crack, or an edge is sticking up, you can still go head over heels and give the ground an arrival kiss. Sidewalk superstitions had power, they go back to the early 1900s. You had to be very careful, the consequences were awful. Your mother getting a broken back or daddy ending up in jail.

If you live in a city that still has some older sidewalks, watch while you’re walking, see if you find a mark in one corner of the sidewalk slab. Many of the sidewalks in this country were built after the depression by the WPA, Works Progress Administration. If you live in snow country you have a very special relationship with your sidewalk. Shovel the snow off quickly, or the city will do it for you and send a bill.


A lot of the WPA sidewalks were still in use in my younger days. Most of the sidewalks in our little towns were built by the WPA. It’s not easy to find any WPA sidewalks anymore, it would be quite a surprise. The WPA program started so people would not have to take food assistance or ask for county help to survive. In 1935, there were 20 million people on relief in the United States. 5.5 million persons, age 16 to 65 were able to work but needed jobs. That is why the WPA program started, to make jobs for them. The WPA would help them live and retain their self respect. The WPA was started in 1935 and ended in 1943, during that time it employed 8.5 million people. Direct relief assistance was permanently replaced by a national work relief program. It did projects through June 1941, totaling approximately $11.4 billion-the equivalent of $183 billion today.”
“The WPA built traditional infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools, courthouses, hospitals, sidewalks, waterworks, and post-offices, but also constructed museums, swimming pools, parks, community centers, playgrounds, coliseums, markets, fairgrounds, tennis courts, zoos, botanical gardens, auditoriums, waterfronts, city halls, gyms, and university unions. Most of these are still in use today. The amount of infrastructure projects of the WPA included 40,000 new and 85,000 improved buildings. These new buildings included 5,900 new schools; 9,300 new auditoriums, gyms, and recreational buildings; 1,000 new libraries; 7,000 new dormitories; and 900 new armories. In addition, infrastructure projects included 2,302 stadiums, grandstands, and bleachers; 52 fairgrounds and rodeo grounds; 1,686 parks covering 75,152 acres; 3,185 playgrounds; 3,026 athletic fields; 805 swimming pools; 1,817 handball courts; 10,070 tennis courts; 2,261 horseshoe pits; 1,101 ice-skating areas; 138 outdoor theatres; 254 golf courses; and 65 ski jumps.

If you’re thing is famous sidewalks, you may want to go to Sunny California to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They advertise it as the most famous sidewalk in the world. Hollywood Boulevard: from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue,
and on Vine Street: from Yucca Street to Sunset Boulevard. The Hollywood walk of fame started in 1960, I will bet it replaced a WPA sidewalk.


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