U Musings: Building sidewalks key to pedestrian safety

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City life is really strange. I come from an area that’s a cross between a suburb and country life, so making the transition from always needing a car to walking everywhere was weird. When I’m at home, there are sidewalks sporadically placed around. There are some in front of schools, some at small shopping centers, some at malls, but never an entire useful system of connecting sidewalks so you can walk somewhere from your house. There’s a subway that’s a 15-minute walk away from my house, but I can’t walk there because I’d have to take a major road and there are no sidewalks. That’s dangerous.

Tall trees, making it nearly impossible to see things on the side of the road, usually surround these major roads. These things are usually people and animals, the only difference being that one is experiencing a fight-or-flight instinct when it jumps in front of you and the other isn’t paying attention.

I don’t know if any of you have had to deal with deer on the road before, but let me tell you – they are the worst. They stay on the side of the road watching your car in fear until you get really close, then they finally decide to jump in front of your car before bolting away. If you’re not paying attention late at night and hit one of these things, it’ll come crashing through your windshield kicking and thrashing with enough force to decapitate you. So, if you have to hit a deer, hit it in the butt; that apparently will help you avoid decapitation.

Now back to the topic at hand. The person not paying attention and practically invisible on the side of the road is not going to be penalized for wandering in front of your car.

Here in the city, there are sidewalks everywhere; so the responsibility of pedestrian survival falls not only on the shoulders of drivers, but pedestrians alike. This is an amazing and easily fixable problem for my hometown. Just put in sidewalks. It’ll make life a lot easier and the roads a lot safer. Not from deer, though. They’re still the worst.

Featured image courtesy Flickr user no rain corp.

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