Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Why would you not want to walk?

Just got back from Downtown. Watched cars sliding into other cars. Some folks were stuck - unable to move their cars out of the snow which enveloped them overnight. Then there were the ladies who alternated their glassy stares between the tire chains tangled in their hands and the white mound that was their car, waiting for something magical to happen.

But on foot, the snow is magical. I would say that I am lucky to live where I do, that I can access my work, great restaurants, the grocery store, movie theaters, bars or almost any other place I want to go by foot or by bike. I would say it's luck, except my wife and I made a conscious decision to live here for those very reasons.

Not that the city makes it easy for pedestrians or bicyclists. The number one job of the city is to make sure that drivers are not inconvenienced, so much so that it is very convenient for drivers to live out of the city!

Remember a few years ago when I posted the work that they had just finished on Washington/Stevens/Ben Garnett/Bernard? How after the millions they spent, they still didn't have a viable sidewalk!?! Amazing. I saw an LC youth walking up the middle of Ben Garnett a couple of days ago, right in the middle of traffic. The prehensile sidewalk was buried in snow. So up he tread, right in the middle of the lane - swinging his lunchbox. Nice.

I still drive a little. Not much. Mostly I bike. Every once in awhile I kind of get the itch to live in "the country" again. So, I can sure empathize with those who make that decision - for whatever reason. I wonder if I was making car payments, if I would be more inclined to drive. Probably.

But, if you live in the city and can leave a little early to be where you need to be, and want to have a fun time, get great exercise, enjoy the fleeting beauty of this snow and have a little adventure - walk.

I wear YakTrax on the bottom of my shoes - I have never slipped on the ice or in the snow wearing them.

In my line of work, I have seen broken ankles and dislocations this winter, so be careful. But, I must add these injuries have all occurred to people getting into or out of their cars! Plus, they don't compare to the injuries people have been receiving whilst driving their cars.


John Speare said...

Liza and I have a version of this conversation just about every time it snows and we're walking/riding/sledding back from dropping our daughter off at preschool. I get grumpy though on these same mornings when some lumbering dumb automobile clumps up the road and makes me move over or otherwise disturbs the quiet beauty.

EvilElf said...

How is the sledding working out? That looked pretty interesting. Getting to work on bicycle was a little dicey this morning. Too many different layers of snow and ice I think.

John Speare said...

Liza is nuts for that sled. It's been a great winter for it. She takes it to the store; hauls Maddie to school on it; goes for coffee. She's into it. She even attached a water bottle to it and she runs a MiNewt light on it at night. For next year, I'm torn b/t getting another or finding some cross country skies.

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