Saturday, December 21, 2013

Walk with me

I live in a neighborhood that was built in the mid- to late 50s (our house was built in 1958). I’m not sure why, but there are no sidewalks in my neighborhood. I don’t mean there are some or that they’re in bad shape. I mean there aren’t any. You have to get over to the four-lane very busy streets to have sidewalks and even then, you don’t get them 100%.

I read an article last week in Slate about how cul-de-sacs are bad for our health (you can read the article here) because we no longer walk. As with the lady in the article, we don’t walk because at least here in the Midwest, we can’t walk. Or if we do, we risk getting hit by cars because we have to walk in the streets.

Here’s another example. I walked to the mailbox this morning so I could get a letter out before the winter storm hits us later today (our carriers don't really pick up our mail at our mailboxes). You can see the route I took, it's the blue dotted line. There were no sidewalks until I reached 95th Street. I could have had some sidewalks if I’d taken the other route on Mission, but even there the sidewalk vanishes south of Cure of Ars Church.

It takes a lot of work for me to get close to the 10k steps a day that’s supposed to be so beneficial for us. I can generally make it on my running days . . . because I’m running 3 ½ miles. But on the days I don’t run, I’m lucky to get to 5K.

When we lived in Boston, I walked everywhere. We had large sidewalks that were generally kept clear of ice and snow in the winter, and the pedestrians ruled the streets. Not here. If I try to cross a street at a Ped Xing, I’m still taking my life in my hands. God help me if it’s dark and I’m wearing a dark winter coat.

What's it like to walk in your area? Do you live in a pedestrian friendly place or are you risking life and limb to get in a daily constitutional walk?

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

There's one neighborhood with a cul-de-sac that has sidewalks near where I live, but mostly no sidewalks and icy refrozen stuff on the side of the road from November to April. I don't walk anywhere.