I had a couple of hours to kill the other day up in Davidson, North Carolina. This college town is about a 20 minute drive north of Charlotte on I-77. Bear right at exit 30 and go east, cross the railroad tracks and turn right at the light and you’re there. Don’t dare exceed 25 MPH or the local police will nab you. I know this.
The town is home to Davidson College and it’s a locale that prides itself on bike lanes, pedestrian-friendly crossings and sidewalks – and by all appearances, cleanliness.
While strolling up and down the main street, some of my attention was diverted to the sidewalk and curbs. It’s a habitual thing; looking for litter and such.
But there was nothing to be found. Literally nothing. There were no cast off bottles, no empty cigarette packs, no fast food cups.
Yeah, I’m judging an entire exurb based on walking along a few blocks smack in the center of town. But holy smokes was it impressive. There must be some sort of civic pride in action; there are recycle bins seemingly every 20 yards. People obviously put those to good use.
I’ve passed judgement before on the litter sensibilities of other cities I’ve visited (St. Paul, MN, Chicago, Miami, Omaha, Portland, OR, et all) and as of this writing Davidson has earned the highest marks for the cleanest byways. Davidson is doing it right.