Back in October there was a Facebook post from the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) highly critical of brick sidewalks entitled "Brick Sidewalks -- A Work in Progress". The post was notable for its lack of supporting data to back up assertions made. For instance, the piece states that brick sidewalks are harder for the disabled or elderly to navigate than concrete without acknowledging that concrete deteriorates rapidly, losing its integrity in ten years or less while brick lasts for centuries. Also, concrete slabs are frequently upthrust for various reasons. Each phenomena makes traversing concrete sidewalks difficult.
The article also omits mention of the fact that wire cut brick actually provides a smoother, much more durable ride than concrete as measured in engineering vibration tests.
Both materials, wire cut brick and concrete, only provide satisfactory passage if properly installed and maintained. Brick has the added advantage of being consistent with a two century old historical legacy in our city while concrete replacement sidewalks destroy that legacy.
Using brick as trim, although better than plain concrete, does not preserve our brick sidewalk legacy which gives the city its unique look and feel.
Finally, the post says that falls are far more numerous on brick than on concrete while providing no data to support the assertion. CBC has checked with the City of Cambridge to learn that no city department keeps such data by type of material used on the sidewalks.