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George Mason and Desire Paths

Today on Reddit, someone posted a before and after picture of the picture of the Ohio State University’s quad. After planting the grass, students would walk across the field to get where they wanted instead of on the sidewalks around it. A more recent picture shows an overhead view of the quad today, and what was once dirt “desire paths” are now actual concrete sidewalks.

George Mason, on the other hand, treats these desire paths like the plague. They’re tucked in all across campus, and rather than pave over them and turn them into sidewalks, they’re blocked with barricades, ropes, and trees. However, that doesn’t fix the problem, people simply walk around.

There’s a subreddit entirely dedicated to these desire paths, and I’ve seen GMU’s campus posted multiple times. The comments section is always shocked that the university would rather have patches of dirt and be stubborn about the paths they want people to use instead of fixing the problem and paving over it.

One Comment

  1. mdecarl2 wrote:

    Students, like most people, desire efficiency. By walking in alternative paths that get them from Point A to Point B much quicker, they are communicating that the current layout isn’t functioning as it should. Essentially, the act of stamping out a separate route over time is a form of public critique!

    Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink