we had a fun visit to palm springs recently, but its clearly not a place designed for people. between the multiple lane, high speed, one-way roads, the “disappearing sidewalks”, the lack of crosswalks, and the heat (at least part of the year … so what’s wrong with the rest of the year?), its not a place I’d probably choose to spend a lot of time. after a brief and somewhat disappointingly deserted foray to downtown, and a short (>5 block) walk to a nearby attraction – of which only 20% of the walk involved sidewalks, crosswalks, or any pedestrian infrastructure whatsover (and no crosswalks or intersections anywhere near the attraction….what?) and during which we saw zero other people walking or outdoors at all – we ended up just sequestering ourselves at the hotel and pool. which was great! but we didn’t need to travel 9 hours for that. we also took a short, strange, moderately fun bike ride to the museum of art, on the “Designated Bike Route” which basically was just the road on the edge of town, where the valley hits the mountains and there’s not much development (or destinations….to bike to?) then on to the museum, where we were also the only bikes in the rack.
its interesting, wierd, and frustrating, to spend time in a town built almost exclusively to rely on the automobile as a planning and transportation device, from the heyday of the first zenith of auto culture. (is today one? i suppose it is, functionally, but maybe not culturally?) the last photo, above, shows how even driving into a vacation a Polynesian-themed motel was set up to give the best possible experience to drivers, as they entered through a dramatic gate.