WE REALLY HAVE, from a pedestrian's point of view, two kinds of places in San Diego," said Stephan Vance of the San Diego Association of Governments. "There's the older urban core that was built around the old streetcar systems. In those parts of town, the streets were laid out so that people could walk to the streetcar and they would have easy access to retail. Those parts of town tend to be fairly walkable, but because they are the older parts, they have a lot of the maintenance issues -- the cracked sidewalks and that sort of thing that need to be fixed."
The second kind of place is "The newer, post-World War II suburbs that were developed more around the automobile," Vance said. "There the sidewalks might be in better condition, but the nearest place to walk to may be miles away, other than to see a neighbor.
"For pedestrians," Vance continued, "it's not just a matter of having sidewalks on the streets -- it's having places that you want to get to by foot."
The new urban village in City Heights has many places for people to walk to. The most dramatic transformation in the redevelopment project is a nine-city-block area at Fairmount and University Avenues.
"When I grew up," said Donna Alm, of the Centre City Development Corporation, "Fairmount and University was where the movie theater was, the bank, the drugstore -- all the important buildings were at that intersection. Then in the '60s, we kind of lost everything. In the '50s and '60s, with all the growth that had to occur after World War II, San Diego and a lot of other cities sort of negated the importance of their villages and their downtowns. I know East San Diego, as it was called at that time, suffered a lot in that period."
The City Heights Retail Village has an Albertsons, eateries, nail salons, banks, and Starbucks. Entertainment is available at the performance annex. Across Fairmount are townhomes and office space. The Weingart City Heights Library, Head Start, the town council offices, and a community service center are across the way, off Wightman. A traffic roundabout on Wightman promotes pedestrian safety by slowing automobile traffic.
The amenities bring pedestrians out, but according to some longtime residents and merchants, the foot traffic has always been high. Michael Sprague, chair of the City Heights Area Planning Committee, said, "We have major bus lines. We have major businesses. We have banks that are there. There are lots and lots of reasons for people to be walking through that intersection, both before and now. We have a lot of small businesses that cater to a specific clientele, and a fair amount of that clientele is within walking distance. A lot of our small businesses are what you might call incubator or start-up businesses. We don't have great parking, so people do tend to walk."
Tina Zenzola, director of Safe and Healthy Communities and boardmember of WalkSanDiego, said, "There was a study done by a professor at San Diego State, Jim Sallis. He looked at Normal Heights and compared it to Clairemont. What he found was that people in Normal Heights tended to get about 70 minutes more physical activity each week. Most of that physical activity was from walking to do errands in the neighborhood.
"If you look at the typical suburban development, I hate to point the finger, but I think Clairemont is one where the land uses are very separate. They've got residential over on one side of town and a commercial strip mall on the other side and the school way outside the center of town. When you have all those things, you don't see many people walking.
"In general," Zenzola said, "our older communities have the good bones of being walkable places. Unfortunately, overlaying those good bones has been the trend in transportation planning -- to place the flow and speed of cars above the comfort and safety of pedestrians. We've sort of ruined, in some ways, a good situation, but we still have those good bones."
Redevelopment has reversed the trend of overlaying those good bones. In the urban village in City Heights, "Now there's more shopping available that's easier to get to," Sprague said. "The library itself is phenomenal. People are really fairly astonished that plans we began drawing in 1994 are actually built and functioning. And we have four new schools coming online in the next three years."
Sprague spoke of the future, saying, "The virtually empty block on the northeast quadrant of the University and Fairmount intersection is designed for more commercial development and some senior housing. Price Charities owns the remainder of the block, and they're planning to develop that fairly soon."
Vegas Bray, a 14-year-old freshman at Hoover High, hanging out in front of the Weingart City Heights Library, said, "I like it here because you just see people around that you know and you can say hi and just chill in the shade. I like all the new things that are going in around here, especially the places to eat." Vegas has lived in City Heights for eight years.
Ivan Sanchez, 21, said, "I've lived in City Heights since I was born. I live close enough that I could walk to work if I want to. I like the diversity of this area. I also like all the effort the city is going to, to bring up this part of town. I run into people on the streets all the time that I know. The bad thing is that most of them are leaving because they can't afford it anymore. It's too expensive. That's the only bad part. I've thought of leaving too, but I just can't. I don't want to leave." Sanchez works at the Blockbuster in the retail village.
"I lived in this neighborhood when I was a kid," said Norma Perez, a Mesa College student who was visiting with friends in the park. "It looks much better here than it did before. The old part was really bad, like, a lot of drug dealing was going on. Now it's changed, and we have a library and a learning center. Now there is more freedom. The kids can come here and play around. When I was 10 or 11 or 12, our moms used to be after us to be careful because so many people around here were bad."
Bill Harris has been manager of Pet Zone for the past six or seven years. The pet shop is located west of the urban village on University Avenue. Harris wasn't thrilled with the changes. To slow the speed and volume of cars on University, the number of lanes has been reduced. Harris complained that automobile congestion has increased and that his business has declined because of it. He said people avoid the area because of the high traffic volume.
Harris also wasn't impressed with the notion of increased safety, saying, "Nobody wants to go out after dark, that's for sure."
Ivan Sanchez agreed. "I wouldn't let my girlfriend go out after dark here for a walk. I mean, it's my neighborhood, but to be realistic I wouldn't let her. I wouldn't let anybody walk at night here. That's a negative. It's always been like that, but I hope it changes, but then again, people are people."
Dani Pham, owner of Dani Salon, in the retail village, said, "I think it's safe. We feel safer now. Before, we were scared a lot." Pham had operated a salon in the area before redevelopment. "I had a business here before. Then the city took over. I came back and started into business, but it just doesn't make much money right now. Before, I made a lot of money. Now nobody sees my shop because I'm inside a shopping center." Her business doesn't attract much of the foot traffic, and it suffers because of higher rent she must now pay. "For a man's haircut we charge $7. It is very cheap. When they stop in and say, 'How much for a haircut?' we say 'Seven,' and they just walk out the door. Out on the street they just charge $5. I cannot make my price lower because the rent is too expensive."
As San Diego's older communities are revitalized, residents find their neighborhoods more inviting to walk in. On February 10, 2004, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to approve five Pilot Village projects around the city. (See sidebar page 40.)
In San Diego's new housing developments, urban villages can be created from scratch. Andy Hamilton is vice president of WalkSanDiego, an organization formed in 1998 to address pedestrian issues. He said, "There are a number of communities that are being built right now that are intended to be walkable and bikeable and friendly to transit." He mentioned 4S Ranch, a 2900-acre site near Rancho Bernardo; Black Mountain Ranch, a 5100-acre site that will include communities built around village town centers; and Otay Ranch.
Otay Ranch in Chula Vista encompasses 5300 acres, with almost one-half of the land to remain open space. There will eventually be 11 urban villages. In one that has already been built, Heritage, the houses fan out from a village center that includes 10-acre Heritage Park, a retail center, and a mass-transit island. Kim Kilkenny, vice president of the Otay Ranch Company, said, "One of the things that Otay Ranch tried to do was to create a wide range of opportunities to move around the community, other than by car. One is a 'paseo,' one is something we call a village pathway, and we have pedestrian bridges and what we would call regional trails. The regional trails are 15-foot-wide trails that surround each village. For the first two villages that have been developed, the regional trails are roughly 8 miles in length. They will connect to a 17-square-mile open-space system, so it will expand, and it will be the largest urban open-space area in San Diego County."
Kilkenny continued, "We also have pop-through cul-de-sacs, which are very unusual. We have a series of cul-de-sacs, and 80 percent of them you can't drive through, but you can walk through. We have a pedestrian-grid system, but not an automotive grid system. If you watch kids go to school, they can walk out their pop-through cul-de-sac, get on the paseo, get to the elementary school, and, at most, cross only one residential street."
In existing towns like La Mesa, Encinitas, and Oceanside, the original main streets -- the "good bones" -- are being renovated to build or rebuild a sense of community.
Steven Johnson, in his book Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software, says about sidewalks: "What matters is that they are the primary conduit for the flow of information between city residents. Neighbors learn from each other because they pass each other -- and each other's stores and dwellings -- on the sidewalk. Sidewalks allow relatively high-bandwidth communication between total strangers, and they mix large numbers of individuals in random configurations. Without the sidewalks, cities would be like ants without a sense of smell, or a colony with too few worker ants. Sidewalks provide both the right kind and the right number of social interactions. They are the gap junctions of city life."
To function thus, a sidewalk must link up with other sidewalks. It must adjoin dwellings and necessities, like grocery stores, pharmacies, coffee shops. It must keep company with points of destination that draw people, such as galleries, novelty shops, restaurants. A sidewalk must provide a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere where people can pass each other on the street, make eye contact, greet each other, congregate.
La Mesa's main street, La Mesa Boulevard, between Spring and Acacia Streets, is such a place. The sidewalks are examples of the gap junctions Steven Johnson promotes.
La Mesa reduced what had been a four-lane boulevard down to a two-lane street and replaced parallel parking with diagonal parking. Tree planters and park benches along the street invite people to linger while visiting the shops and restaurants. Sidewalks appear old but in good repair, framed with red tile and wide enough for cafés to offer outside dining. Corners have the bulbed-out effect to shorten the distance across streets. Vintage lampposts sport colorful banners.
Deanne Buller, co-owner of Act II and Act II for Kids, shops offering "gently worn clothing," said, "A lot of people think that La Mesa is a sleepy old town, and they don't really know what we offer here. There is so much. We have all kinds of things. We have one of the largest Oktoberfests on the West Coast. We have the Old-Fashioned Christmas in La Mesa: we close off the streets; we have strolling carolers; we have chestnuts roasting on fire pits in the middle of the street. All the stores stay open and offer apple cider and goodies. We have a car show that is every Thursday night in the summer."
La Mesa's weekly farmer's market, held on Fridays one street over, brings foot traffic as well. The city punched through a walkway from La Mesa Boulevard to Allison, making the market and municipal parking more accessible. Walkway of the Stars, as it's called, is lined with benches; stars inset in the concrete honor people for their community service.
Kathy Sowden, owner of Finders Keepers, one of numerous antique stores dotting the street, said, "We have a mix of customers. I would say about 60 percent are the East County crowd, and the remaining 40 percent are from other areas. We have customers who come from the South Bay and North County, who come once a week just to see what we have. They're regulars who aren't local.
"There are a lot of people in the neighborhood who are walkers and a lot of people who jog and walk their dogs. I mean, if you don't see a particular dog and its master, you get worried. The village is a nice place just to walk around, so we get a lot of foot traffic. I know when we've done surveys and we ask, 'How did you hear about us?' we get a lot of people who say, 'I was walking by. I was taking a walk.' It's really very much a foot-traffic area."
Sowden continued, "We see the most foot traffic on Saturdays, of course. And weekdays it's most active from noon till four, but we have great Mondays. It's really strange."
"It's kind of small townish. Everybody kind of knows everybody. It's very friendly," said Cinda Houska, a La Mesa resident. "We've lived here 13 years, and I come to the village quite often. Right now, my girlfriend is here from Northern California, and we came down for lunch and to walk around and see the antiques. We're spending the afternoon relaxing and checking out the sidewalk stuff. This is a great little place, a nice place to take a friend."
A Victorian tearoom, the AubreyRose, opened at the beginning of 2004. Dave Wyatt, who owns the establishment with his wife, Lorna, said they specifically wanted to locate in La Mesa. "We are surrounded by 13 antique shops, three jewelry shops, and several hair salons, which we feel draw the same type of clientele. We are primarily by reservation, but on any given day, we'll have between 5 and 15 walk-ins. We are beginning to get some people who consider themselves regulars and who we can identify by first name."
Karen Allen, manager of Antiques of the Village, grew up in La Mesa. "I think the trolley has made a positive impact. I used to work downtown, and I rode the trolley. It was much better than driving. I know there are people who ride the trolley and come into town to attend planned events."
Act Two's Buller said, "I think it's been an asset. We get a lot of people from it. I'm looking forward to it connecting to the valley soon."
Sowden said she thought the trolley could become more widely used. "I don't think that enough people know that La Mesa is the shopping district that it is. I think more people would come from downtown if they knew we have a five-square-block area of mom-and-pop shops offering one-of-a-kind things. We always hear, 'My God, I didn't know you were here.' "
Encinitas has also revitalized its main street. Peder Norby is executive director of the Downtown Encinitas Main Street Association. When I talked to him last February, he said, "For three years in a row we've been one of the top ten main streets in the United States, and we've made the semifinal round again this year. We hope to win. There have only been three cities that have won in the past in California." Norby referred to the Great American Main Street Award given by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to cities each year who they deem have excelled in revitalization while promoting economic growth and historic preservation. In 2000, Coronado won the award. (See sidebar page 45.)
"Our community stopped developing a pedestrian orientation and started developing an automobile orientation," Norby continued. "It began with the interstate transportation system, and from that point on we now have a culture of malls, strip malls, big-box warehouses. Before 1960, the storefront would be up on the street, and you had wide sidewalks. That was replaced with the storefront set back with huge parking lots, and your car was how you got around to everything. For the communities that were built prior to the interstate transportation system -- and it's obviously Oceanside, Encinitas, Cardiff, and Leucadia -- it is easier for us to go back and to accomplish a pedestrian orientation, because that's what we were."
Seventeen years ago when Encinitas incorporated and became a city, "We were up here, just kind of Podunk North County back then," Norby said, "and a lot of things that were happening in this area were basically sprawl-oriented, development-oriented. The communities decided that they wanted to effect their own plan, so they incorporated. We have a mass transit station, the Coaster. We have a City Hall. We have a new $12 million library that is happening by City Hall. We have Moonlight Beach and Swami's Beach. We have a wonderful commercial district with 260 stores downtown. We have a couple of nice visitor hotels and Cottonwood Creek Park. Everything that I just mentioned was impossible to walk to or didn't exist five to ten years ago.
"Too many people just pay lip service and say, 'Oh, we'll make it a pedestrian-oriented downtown,' and then they remove the sidewalks and they remove the parking and they put six lanes in and it's all vehicle-oriented. Ours truly isn't. We have new sidewalk on the ground that links our mass transit to our beaches, which is kind of phase one of the streetscape as you go down from where the Encinitas sign is to Encinitas Boulevard. There are new retaining walls there that allowed us to put sidewalks in. First time as a pedestrian you've been able to walk from the mass transit station to the beach without taking your life in your own hands and walking in a traffic lane.
"We spent thousands and thousands of dollars extra to put a rubberized asphalt in on the road. The rubberized asphalt is about 35 percent quieter than regular asphalt. It creates a more enjoyable outdoor dining experience and walking experience.
"We kept our diagonal parking," Norby continued, "and again, as a pedestrian, a good example, if you go to Carlsbad Village Drive and you're on the sidewalk -- there's no bike lane, there's no parking, and a semi truck is driving 18 inches away from you going 40 miles an hour. As a pedestrian, there is an inherent survival reflex we all have as humans, and you don't want to walk there because it doesn't feel good to have that thing driving right next to you. You take a parallel parking spot, which is 8 feet basically, now the pedestrian has an 8-foot buffer between themselves and the traffic lane, and they feel a little bit more comfortable. There is a little bit of an edginess there, but they'll do it. You make diagonal parking, now the traffic is 16 feet away."
Still on a roll, Norby continued, "As you're walking around downtown, you'll see our art banners, our trash cans [covered in tiles painted by schoolchildren], you'll see tile mosaics in the sidewalk, you'll see little knickknacks as you walk down by La Paloma Theatre, you'll see a plaque in the ground that says, 'The original concrete was poured in 1912.' You'll find plaques on buildings, and they're all oriented toward the pedestrian."
Art Jensen and his wife Sue live just south of Encinitas proper, about three-quarters of a mile from downtown. He said, "We walk downtown all the time. We never drive. If we go to eat, we walk. If we go to the movies, we walk. We walk at least two or three mornings a week just to come down for coffee."
Norby spoke about concrete issues. "Our scoring system on our concrete in the '20s was two feet square. There are a lot of communities who will invest tens of millions of dollars in ornate streetscape, with gilded bricks, water fountains coming out, whatever. That's not necessary to create a safe pedestrian environment that is attractive to walking. We chose plain concrete -- not bricks, not stamped concrete -- to recapture the original scoring pattern that was in the downtown. We basically have a 12-foot-wide public sidewalk area.
"We've had to balance the fact that we have 17,000 cars a day going down Highway 101. We are not like Carlsbad or La Jolla, where we're off the main road. We are creating clutter with our pop-outs that allow us to put our landscaping out closer to the center to visually narrow the corridor. We are slowing the speeds of traffic down. We are making it quieter."
Last February, Dennis Culton owned the 101 Diner with Dominic Alcorn (the diner has since been sold). "We used to just have a counter and one booth," Culton said. "At that time we couldn't even put a sign out front. We'd put out a sandwich board that had our name on it and the City would come by and say, 'You can't have that out there.' Now you've got tables and umbrellas and everything out there. Things have changed. Back then, people couldn't find us. Now with the tables out front and the fact that we're larger, they can. We have more tourists and a lot of people walking around since they've done the renovations. It's very nice. Our customers are definitely a mix. It used to be 100 percent locals. Now it's maybe 50-50."
"Another thing is lighting," said Norby. "We have fought this nine-to-five and roll-up-the-sidewalks-at-five-o'clock mentality. We start at seven o'clock in the morning and basically go to midnight or one o'clock.
"We chose to use metal halide light, which is the same light that a surgeon operates under. It's the most natural light, other than natural light, in the lighting spectrum.
"Typically an engineer in a city environment would have a pop-out at the end of a block, and then a pop-out directly at midblock, and then another one. Ours aren't that way. They're haphazard. Wherever there's a restaurant, we'll try and put a pop-out to create more pedestrian space and a buffer for the restaurant. Where there would otherwise be a red curb, we'll put a pop-out there because we can capture that pedestrian space that didn't exist before.
"We'll be doing the rest of downtown next year. It's two parts," Norby continued. "Cottonwood Creek Park is the next thing that's going to link that together when those sidewalks get put in. You are able to walk from the hotel, then under the railroad crossing to the beach on new passages.
"Another interesting thing to observe is to drive the El Camino Real corridor on a Saturday or a Sunday -- you will see maybe a dozen people. They are usually joggers or landscape workers. You come along Highway 101, and on the same Saturday, 10 o'clock or 11 o'clock, there are thousands of people out walking about."
Oceanside, embarking on a similar main street project, is the only city in the county to hire a pedestrian coordinator.
"The downtown of Oceanside grew up essentially from the car culture in Southern California in the '20s and '30s," said Kim Heim, director of Main Street Oceanside. "All of the coastal cities were situated on Highway 101. Oceanside has always dedicated Coast Highway as a transit corridor. Mission Avenue is a very similar situation; it's an extension of the old Highway 76. The behavior on Mission Avenue is similar to that on a state highway. If you look at other streets running parallel to it, Mission absorbs 80 percent of the total volume of daily trips.
"The beauty of downtown Oceanside is that we have a grid system," Heim continued, "and few cities have as simple a grid as we have. The grids allow people to easily change traffic patterns based on their own self-interest. What we have encouraged -- and the city is willing to promote -- is beginning to divert appropriate percentages of traffic onto Pier View and Seagaze. Mission also is envisioned to collapse down into a two- or three-lane street. It will probably look something like two-lane with left-turn pockets in it. The traffic will be slowed down by the street shape and design. Hopefully, we will be seeing bulb-outs at all the corners of each block so the pedestrians have less of a distance to walk, better sight lines. Diagonal parking will be considered. Landscaping. The idea is that as we slow the traffic down on Mission, people begin to feel safer. You can begin to have more eye contact with stores and businesses on that street. The noise and competition between the cars begins to settle, and therefore sidewalk dining becomes more acceptable. Dirt and pollution begin to drop. The other side benefit is that as we begin to move volumes of traffic over onto Pier View and Seagaze, over time those streets may begin to see a commercial rebirth. So there's a chance to begin to distribute the number of people who transit through Oceanside from east to west and spread them out over a broader area, decongesting the intersections, and actually begin to create a slow-moving, more pedestrian-friendly environment."
These types of changes resonate with Cindy Watson, Oceanside's pedestrian coordinator for the past two years. She said, "A couple of years ago we were named the fourth worst city for pedestrians based on the population of the state of California. We have greatly improved."
Heim reported that two resorts are to be constructed near the pier, as well as a time-share project. He said, "Oceanside's going to be a more vertical city than it is today. You're going to find buildings that will be between four, five, and six stories, in most cases. We're beginning to see the mixed use start this year. There is a six-story building that will be constructed next to the Regal Cinema Plaza. It will contain office, retail, and residential. There are a number of other projects that are either breaking ground or are on the books that will provide either loft living or higher-end residential living, but they are all mixed use.
"You can begin to see the future look of Mission," Heim said. "The bulbed-out intersections have been installed there. The parking is somewhat notched into the sidewalk area."
In downtown San Diego, the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) is working on two sidewalk projects.
"One of them is creating the connection between Balboa Park and San Diego Bay, which we've been wanting to do for many years," Donna Alm, of the development corporation, said. "In fact, there was a study done in the early 1900s that laid out a plan for putting a promenade between Balboa Park and San Diego Bay, and it would have gone up Cedar Street, but in the 1950s the city built a freeway, Interstate 5, and that kind of wrecked that idea. Ever since then, we've been trying to figure out how to connect the two, and we are physically doing it right now. The construction is under way on what was 12th Avenue and, of course, when you get up by City College, 12th Avenue turns into Park Boulevard. We are renaming 12th Avenue Park Boulevard. It will run all the way from Balboa Park to San Diego Bay, going down that street, and when it gets to the area where the library is going to be built and where the ballpark is today, a new street has been formed that is diagonal that takes it out to the bay by the San Diego Convention Center, and that will also be Park Boulevard. It's a wonderful, wonderful program. All along the former 12th, the idea is to have a tree-lined promenade. Each side of the street will have a very wide sidewalk and work with the buildings that are already there to help them upgrade by adding neighborhood uses -- coffee shops, cleaners, businesses, that sort of thing. We are actually improving the sidewalks and making them look more attractive for people to walk down. And new street furniture, new street signs, new streetlights. The plan really is very pretty. You won't see the pretty side for a while, because it takes time. It will encourage people to literally go between those two great San Diego assets."
The second project is still in the design phase while the financing is worked out. But, Alm said, "It is probably going to be the best present San Diego has ever given itself. It is the North Embarcadero, esplanade area, basically, going from Seaport Village around the curve to the airport. It takes in the crescent-shaped area of the western side of downtown San Diego. The port district already has a nice walkway that takes off from there that actually goes all the way to Point Loma. But the North Embarcadero project will have wide greenspace, some of it trellised, some of it raised, so people can sit and enjoy the bay. There will be activities along there. They want to put in small café-type operations so people can stop and eat if they want to.
"If you've seen the boardwalk that goes from the Convention Center to Seaport Village, that route is used by everybody for walking, jogging, bicycle riding; it welcomes people on feet. That's our objective, to take from Seaport Village and do all the rest of the waterfront, because that is downtown's front porch. San Diego Bay is a very important element to this city. It's important that it's also something that the public can use -- in other words, get to easily and walk along it or bicycle or jog along it. The CCDC and the port district are working hand in glove on this thing."
Alm concluded, "I really feel that this is the prize that we're going to give to the city of San Diego and make everybody that lives in this area happy. It's really going to make a beautiful waterfront."
When the two projects are completed, they will form a continuous sidewalk connection between the airport and Balboa Park, filled with destinations along the way. Sound like Camelot? Not quite. Hamilton is quick to remind us, "Downtown San Diego needs a tremendous amount of work. If you look at where the clusters of pedestrian crashes are, it's downtown, by far. There are too many one-way streets that encourage speeding." The issues are endless.
And so it goes. San Diego's concrete color of choice, gray-colored Portland cement, will continue to gurgle out of cement mixers, pouring into restoration projects and new projects alike. The gray sidewalks will keep providing conduits of safe passage for pedestrians.
Even more than that, they will offer themselves as gap junctions, enhancing a sense of community. As Kilkenny, from Otay Ranch, said, the bottom-line goal isn't always just about walking. He said, "Walkability is the means by which you achieve a social goal, and the social goal is greater interaction amongst neighbors." He echoes what Jane Jacobs wrote in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961. "The trust of a city street is formed over time from many, many little public sidewalk contacts. It grows out of people stopping by the bar for a beer, getting advice from the grocer and giving advice to the newsstand man, comparing opinions with other customers at the bakery and nodding hello to the two boys drinking pop on the stoop, eyeing the girls while waiting to be called to dinner, admonishing the children, hearing about a job from the hardware man and borrowing a dollar from the druggist, admiring the new babies and sympathizing over the way a coat faded."