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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Urban Walking- a Short Rant


Today, I left my car at the auto glass repair place and walked the rest of the way into town to get to work.

busy street

Everyone was all concerned that I was cold. Not at all. That isn't the problem with this plan. But if you look at the picture, you may get an idea of what the problem is.

Urban walking in cities that have no plan for multi-modal transportation can be a nightmare. My trek today was difficult and unsafe. No big deal for an occasional walk.

However, I see people all the time walking or riding their bikes, in all seasons of the year, along this road. Lots of people here in our depressed economy don't even have cars. They walk or ride to Wal-Mart, or even farther, to the local Meijer store. It's not fun or very safe even in summer. Definitely less so in winter.

There is a local group that is trying hard to get a sidewalk/multi-use trail put in from the Hospital (where the sidewalk ends) to Meijer, about three miles outside of town. It's a great plan, but it needs money and it needs rights-of-way. Neither of those is easy to come by. The leader of the group is often discouraged, and they currently aren't doing much.

Our society has pretty much overlooked the needs of anyone who doesn't have, or maybe doesn't want to rely on, a car.

End of rant. Car retrieved later. New windshield. Bought groceries. Wrote a chapter.

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Lin said...

I understand. I see a man who rides his bike to work EVERY single morning...rain, shine, snow, sleet....He does not have safe passage.

Cars are expensive to own and we need to account for people who don't have them. It's unsafe to walk or ride your bike anywhere these days.

vanilla said...

Immediately saw your problem. Few people seem to care about walkers or bike riders these days. In our small town, which has sidewalks to most places, years ago the city plowed the walks when it snowed! Of course that's a thing of the past and people were encouraged alternatively to observe the rule that they were responsible for cleaning their own walks. This courtesy is almost completely ignored these days, as people shovel out their cars and take off to wherever they are going, leaving us to slog through the streets, over the drifts, etc. ((My contribution to your rant.)

rainfield61 said...

Wrote a chapter of rant.

Spend a life to think.

Secondary Roads said...

Your rant strikes a sympathetic chord here.

Tony Laplume said...

Walkers of the world, unite!

Sharkbytes said...

Lin- yes- there was a guy biking it yesterday, skidding in the slush, with WalMart bags swinging from the handlebars.

Vanilla- very common issue in small towns where people have given up walking because there isn't much shopping one can walk to.

rainfield- Happy Birthday, and happy you have many wonderful places to walk.

Chuck- yes, I think you would walk if your toes would cooperate

Tony- we are trying!

Ann said...

yep, I can see how that could get very dangerous.
We have sidewalks here going through town but for most of the summer they were dug in various spots while they were doing work.

Anonymous said...

Unless you work in town (which is very few people as there are only a small handful of business)...you HAVE to have a car as everything is so far apart. It's easier not to have a car in areas like where you live where places are a bit closer together and there probably is more opportunities for public transportation.

RNSANE said...

As a young nurse, I moved to the Boston area to live, to reconnect with my father, divorced from my mother since my early childhood. I worked at McClean Hospital, a huge psychiatric facility on many acres.
After Shawn was born, I worked the night shift and I'd be so exhausted when I went out in the morning and found the hospital snow plows had cleaned the roads of the acres of grounds but left the snow piled behind the employee's parked cars. It would, sometimes, take me an hour to dig out.

Everything was so beautiful there, in the historic Lincoln - Concord area after the first snowfall but I soon tired of it and the inconvenience of driving and the slushy mess everything became.

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