What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

18 July 2012

Walking on Sunshine

... because I'm not always able to walk on the sidewalk.

When we moved to Austin from Lubbock a couple of years ago, I rejoiced in the abundance of sidewalks covering Austin. (Lubbock is not good at sidewalks.) There's one in my neighbourhood and it leads right to the grocery store! Excellent!

I'm almost guaranteed to trip over
these cracks. Good thing the city
fixes them. Source.
And, of course, all good sidewalks require repair, and that's where my trouble starts. You see, a road sign that reads, "Sidewalk Closed. Use other side," does not do me much good when the other side of the street doesn't have a sidewalk, as happened in my neighbourhood over the past few weeks. Or-- even worse-- when a well-used sidewalk on a major street is closed, but to get to the sidewalk on the other side requires crossing busy traffic lanes without the aid of a crosswalk, and then crossing back again to reach the destination.

Yep. Also in my neighbourhood.

And one more: When vegetation growth hangs over the sidewalk, almost to the street, forcing people to walk at the very edge of the sidewalk with only inches of air between them and passing traffic. No prizes for guessing where this gem is.

I do love our sidewalks, and I love them being maintained. I don't love when the public works people forget to make provisions for pedestrians. I get a lot of mileage out of the "Contact Us" page on the Austin website. But most of all, this is just another symptom of suddenly having something I didn't have before: I forget what it was like when my options were to walk in someone's yard or to walk in the street (thanks, City of Lubbock). And I'm glad that I do have at least one more choice now.

So, there you go: Another travail in the car-free life. I realise it sounds like a rant, but it's not intended to rant so much as to cause you to look around and possibly contact your own public works department to demand a good place to walk.

Does your neighbourhood have sidewalks? Do you walk? How could it be better?

5 comments:

The Golden Eagle said...

Our neighborhood has sidewalks--if cracked ones--but along the main route in the town there's only one on a single side. They also peter out in some of the residential areas.

JEFritz said...

There's a sidewalk on my street, but it ends halfway up. And there isn't one on the other side. And it's a busy street.

Yeah, it could be improved. Good point you brought up.

Liz said...

Sidewalks? Yep, we have sidewalks just about everywhere.

Actually, my city is kinda into the whole walking thing. Every neighborhood, including the gated ones, are open to all pedestrians. The gates can keep out cars, but the sidewalks are non-gated, so we can walk anywhere.

And we're on a hill, so the gated neighborhoods have all the best views.

Mia Hayson said...

Um. So. At least as far as I know sidewalks are kind of a big THING in the UK.

I mean, I would find it ridiculous if a street in town DIDN'T have them. Uhm, yeah.

Come here. We kind of take walking places as a given. :)

<3

Su said...

@Golden Eagle: The "one side only" thing drives me nuts, especially on major roads.

@JE: I guess you're not allowed to walk very far!

@Liz: That's fabulous. Where do you live? I'm moving there.

@Mia: Yes! That was one of my favourite things about Scotland! Oh my gosh, I miss it so much. :(