Monday, April 20, 2009

Bring back sidewalks

Yesterday, I took my baby for a walk. We had stopped for lunch in a lovely neighborhood in the next town over, one of those planned communities where everything was designed to be within arms' reach. It occurred to me, as I headed to my car to drive to the next store, that maybe I should try walking for a change instead of buzzing busily from stop to stop.

Well. For a planned community, someone should have thought about where to place the sidewalks! Yes, there were sidewalks along the main drag, but no one thought about why you might be walking along the road to begin with -- to go shopping. I had a stroller, but I could just as easily have had a wheeled bag to carry my groceries or been traveling in a wheelchair. Twice, I had to backtrack because my sidewalk simply ended or ended in stairs (!) Once I had to hop the curb to get from point A to point B. (Try doing that safely in a wheelchair!)

I was left wondering how one could actually manage to shop this way. I could barely carry the few groceries I had while also maneuvering the stroller. Don't get me wrong -- the skies were beautiful and I greatly enjoyed savoring the flowering trees while the baby napped. I highly recommend it. But it struck me that it would have been wise to first drive by my walking route to plot out my course. And that would have defeated the main purpose of my walk.

Photo credit: Leon Brooks,


CricketB said...

I used to walk around downtown a lot when the kids were small. Library, doctor, mall, nice little restaurants for lunch. It's a great way to spend a few hours, city planners permitting.

jublke said...

You know, CricketB, I had forgotten how much fun it could be to just walk someplace. It seems like I am always rushing from one place to another, usually by car. Here's to more peaceful walks in the future for both of us!