Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Customizable Sidewalks (Customisable Pavements)

Personalise the street outside your house
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(+5, -1)
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(Note: US sidewalk = UK pavement.)

Many people have beautiful houses and gardens, but always at the bottom of the garden, running from the fence to the road, is a scrappy strip of broken paving slabs, tarmac or concrete. How boring. When people pull up outside your property, no matter how pretty it is, they still have to walk over this sidewalk/pavement.

Well, no longer. Just pull up the boring old pathway outside your house, and put down something new. Pavement art with chalks is a time-honoured money-making venture in city centres, but until now no one ever bothered to make the street outside of their own house look pretty. And you could go much further than just drawing on or painting it: lay new rock slabs, wooden decking, colored road surfaces; the possibilities are endless.

You would need to buy a license from the council responsible for the road to carry out such work, and the cost of the license would pay for inspectors to check the access over your sidewalk was unimpaired, and that you hadn't included spikes to slash passing tires. A whole new realm of contractors would spring up to beautify this last part of the urban environment. No more would we watch sitcoms about interior designers and their gay lawyer buddies; now sidewalk design would be the job every girl dreamt of. And every guy would dream of laying those multicolored slate slabs.

Myself? I'd go for a black marble etched with humorous epitaphs, and lion-headed white cherubim lining the kerb-side. Others might go for a fake snow effect with expanded polystyrene and fake reindeer droppings; or glue several hundred small coins to the ground.

pottedstu, Dec 17 2001

Road Traffic Act 1988, Part I 34.(1)(b) http://www.hmso.gov...052_en_2.htm#mdiv34
The offence in question relates to 'footpath or bridleway' rather than pavement. [stupop, Dec 18 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       Me? I'd go for a deep blue-black epoxy resin surface maybe with a subtle iridescence. Or bright red. Or something that looked like 6 inches of standing water.
bristolz, Dec 18 2001

       [Peter Sealy] I think that it must also be true in Pittsburgh that homeowners are responsible for their sidewalks. When out walking you see little advertising plates embedded in the concrete. But that's the problem - just plain old boring concrete. Much better to have some individuality. Croissant.
TeaTotal, Dec 18 2001

       I think you need to reset the 'baked' filter, Peter, it's gotten corrupted. "A mile-long drive through a scenic park", and even better, 'Well, SOMEONE does', isn't even close to the idea of having the sidewalks in your yard custom repaved.
StarChaser, Dec 18 2001

       Baked build is out now I hear
bristolz, Dec 18 2001

       <pedant> In the UK, 'footpath' or 'footway' is actually the correct term for sidewalk. Pavement refers to the entire surface including both the footpaths and the carriageway. </pedant>   

       Have you been out drawing on the ground lately [pottedstu]? This is the second 'ground art' idea in as many days.
stupop, Dec 18 2001

       «Others might go for a fake snow effect ...» Well, it's certainly more likely to happen than real snow where I live.
cp, Dec 18 2001

       stupop: No, just trudging the streets looking for Xmas presents, alas.
pottedstu, Dec 18 2001

       Mounting the pavement has never been an offence to my knowledge, unless it comes under gross indecency. I accept that the footpath is colloquially referred to as the pavement in Britain and Ireland, but from a technical point of view and a legal point of view (in other words an anal point of view) I'm right.
stupop, Dec 18 2001

       On a web page like this I don't think it matters to discuss the legal aspects of the idea. It would be a good idea to have everyone do their own side walk. The only problem that I see is if we do put everyone incharge of building their own side walk, in many places there won't even be a side walk, some people are just so lazy. Concrete is cheap it practicly lasts forever (50-70 yrs) and we have a huge surplus of it. If I could do my own side walk I would use latex concrete, and have it toped with pennys so I can walk on money every day
wood2coal, Dec 18 2001


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