If this is your first time reading this blog I recommend you start with the first one .
** Disclaimer – I’m probably a lot crazier than most people as I tend to walk/bike all over the place and distances don’t really phase me. As such, many things I find common and easy to do could very likely be tough and inconvenient for others. This is clearly not a “how to” for going car-less but rather “how I” manage to do it .**
Getting the daily opportunity to walk in my neighbourhood has really opened my eyes to the little things people do or don’t do. For instance, after our latest snowfall we had quite the accumulation of snow (I know I shovelled twice!). The morning after the snowfall I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the walk to work trudging through the deep snow. Not that my feet would get cold or wet, it was just the extra effort that would be involved. I have to say I was very surprised to find most of the sidewalks on my street clear and snow -free. Most people on my street shovel their sidewalks when they do their driveway. This is a great courtesy to walkers as it could take a day or more for the sidewalk plow to get around to our area. In fact, so many people clear their sidewalks in my area that when you see the few that don’t, you feel a distinct twinge of negativity toward whomever lives in the house with the uncleared sidewalk. ‘Outcasts!’
Further to that line of thought, I have noticed that many neighbourhoods lack sidewalks entirely. I find myself contending with traffic as I make my way down the street. In the summer I’m sure the lack of a sidewalk is less of a hassle but in the winter with parked cars, snow banks and nice slushy spray from passing vehicles, it’s definitely not fun. The lack of sidewalks on some streets has definitely made me change my routes as it’s usually not adding much more distance to my trip. But there is that general hassle of finding a sidewalk.
Getting back to snow removal on sidewalks though, I do have a pet peeve. Some businesses and homeowners feel it’s best to pile their snow in the sidewalk (partially or completely) because the sidewalk plow will eventually go by to clear it. Luckily we haven’t had too much snow yet. But if we run into several days of snowfall, I have a bad feeling I’ll be wading through several of the piles left by the “lazy” shovellers. Part of me wishes there was a City by-law similar to the one in Guelph that required everyone to clear the sidewalk in front of the house. The other part of me just wishes people would take it upon themselves to make walking more accessible, like most of the people on my street. The question is: Will you lead by example on your street?
Until next time!
Page last updated on Wednesday, March 02, 2011