|Walkers are encouraged to walk until they work!|
The transition from the anything goes mentality has not been easy and every interest group has put up roadblocks to delay or in some cases stop laws aimed at preventing additional pollution. Many cities and counties across the nation have added walking, bike paths and mass transit to encourage this type of exercise. However, when they want or need to work on the sidewalk or shut down the subway as in Washington, D.C., you are left to your own devices.
Having just come from an hours walk with my dog, something I do just about every day because of health reasons and she wants and demands it, I was struck by the fact that no matter where I have gone in Southern California how little thought and care is given to pedestrians. If there is a sidewalk people riding bikes use them and think you are intruding for being there even though there are signs that warn you NOT to ride on the sidewalk and stating a fine if caught. In fact today, in Palm Springs, there are bike paths with that name and arrow painted on them where us walkers are not allowed to be. However, there is one small catch ... there is no where else for a walker to walk!
When you walk a dog you must pick up your dogs droppings. There are signs everywhere with a minimum fine stating this but not a trash can for miles! I see many dogs on my walks ... do the owners just leave their gifts behind? Am I the only fool carrying a little blue or grocery plastic bag around looking for a place to deposit it? You hope to find a bus stop where there is always a trash receptacle but evidently the streets I walked on today do not have that. I never saw one.
|Woe be to the poor pedestrian if there's an accident. We waited and waited|
to cross. Evidently cars are more important and well, we just crossed!
|Not only was one corner closed, ALL four corners were.|
The design is this, at least to me, if you want a healthy, happy citizenry, do what it takes to promote healthy citizens. Instead, we get that make do with what you get. City, state, county state and the Federal Government need to speak to us with a unified voice. Either they encourage us and create the ways we can lead a healthier lifestyle or not.
On a visit to Amsterdam we were stunned at the number of bikes ... they even have their own lane! It turned out that the Dutch had gotten lazy like Americans and would drive their cars, despite gasoline prices that would cause riots in the states, down the block to the store. Noting the increased weight of its citizens the mayor of Amsterdam began riding his bike to work. Within months the streets were once again filled with bikes! This was a design that worked. Hopefully many more American urban centers can learn from this and treat pedestrians and bike riders with the respect and good health they deserve.
Thank you for reading my blog! Please check out earlier blogs that talk about life ... lives that are always designed, whether we realize it or not!