What’s with the mine shaft, err I mean hole, really big hole, that swallowed the sidewalk in front of 4805 Greene St in the little village of Germantown many months ago? Set between W Rockland and Wyneva streets, situated on the formerly-safest-route to the neighborhood corner store, this sidewalk has seen better days. It’s looking a little like a sinkhole (but not) and is extremely dangerous to pedestrians. And it’s been like this for at minimum 4 months. Lots of people have seen it. Luckily, no one has fallen in it yet – at least we don’t think. Has anyone been reported missing? Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised if a coal miner clambered out.
By Ainé and Emaleigh | Pop up sidewalk gardens are a low-cost to free solution for seismic sidewalks and a motivating tool against blight. See a dirt pit in the sidewalk? Maybe it’s weeds. If you are lucky it might even be grass. Whatever the condition, if it’s bad, it is time to turn that unsightly chasm into a garden. Gone is the infested little hole with old dusty nickel baggies, a rusty lighter, about a dozen crusty pennies and shards of glass (well, that’s what we found on W Rockland Street). Enter a most magnificent patch of pleasantness and beauty. Grab some bricks for the border, get your shovel and plant. Now start smiling and watch what a difference this gracious green patch makes.
Pop up sidewalk gardens seem like the perfect little urban intervention until we find a more permanent solution for W Rockland Street’s crumbling sidewalks. We have two installed now and plan to create a few more on the block with fall plants to start.
The curbs and sidewalks on all of W Rockland Street are in extreme disrepair. In many places, the curb and/or sidewalk no longer exist. The damaged areas continue to crack and crumble overtime. Sidewalks in this condition harbor litter and become a haven for weeds, in addition to being dangerous for pedestrians. Sidewalks like these continue to shed small rocks all over the block. The rocks are litter debris. Children also like to throw these rocks, causing property damage. Another big project for our block is to get new sidewalks and curbs throughout the entire length of the block and have street trees planted along the entire length of the street.