Outdoor Services Crew

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Traffic Paths

When new buildings are constructed we always have a change in pedestrian traffic patterns. The paths are caused by the pedestrians as they choose to not use the designated sidewalks and take the lazy route. As you can see in the below picture, instead of putting a hand rail along the sidewalk to prevent the cut through, the decision was made to place trees instead, which would hopefully change the look of the open lawn. As you can see it didn't work.
These paths are extremely frustrating to the grounds staff who are constantly working hard to make the campus as beautiful as possible; however, these paths also represent a cost impact to the campus. There is a lot of work put in during the design phase of projects to help identify possible locations where this could happen. It is always amazing to see the amount of design work that goes into preventing these paths, only to have the resilience of these lazy pedestrians come through and find a way.
 In the grounds and landscape community, these paths are unofficially named "Cow Paths" because they closely resemble the look of trails formed on cattle ranches. This term may not be the most politically correct way to describe these paths but the impacts match perfectly to the term. As you can see in the above picture, there is a full grown row of trees and the pedestrians have found a way to cut through a small gap in the branches.