First off, the site was terrific, one of a kind — certainly within Louisville, but also nationally.
Broken Sidewalk was always a smart read, but in a way that was accessible. Branden’s writing was thorough, intelligent, fair, confident. It was occasionally light-hearted (as in this 2010 story about Slugger Field’s history as a potato shipping ground), always well-researched. It oozed cautious optimism, maybe a little wariness.
We were lucky to have it as part of our city and community conversation. National blogs would regularly pick up Branden’s writings. When Bicycling magazine rated Louisville a Top 50 bike-friendly city in the US in 2016, it listed Broken Sidewalk as a reason and summed up the genius of BS in three tidy sentences:
Louisville’s Broken Sidewalk blog is perhaps the nation’s best local outlet chronicling a city’s urban transformation. The site’s clean design and enlightening content regularly features posts from some of the country’s top thinkers on utilitarian cycling. Every city that wants to improve biking needs an online publication this good.
Branden’s editorial decisions were the most interesting part of the site. Things you wouldn’t see covered anywhere else, he would discuss in detail. When the city’s bike/ped department started its “Look Alive Louisville” campaign, for example, he wrote a multi-part series on pedestrian safety in the city. When LMPD started handing out warning tickets to children jaywalking and teaching them to “walk defensively”, Branden published this article that laid out a list of reasons why this was an incredibly bad idea: Continue reading “On Branden Klayko and His Website Broken Sidewalk, Which was Unlike Anything Else”