Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The "Choices" we have

One thing that is clear as one studies the places of our cities and neighborhoods is how auto centered our lives have become... so much that we are essentially forced to get in the car.

We drive to the park.
We drive to exercise.
We drive to get lunch.
We get in our cars to get the milk we forgot.
We drive to church.

Because we drive so much, the city streets are too dangerous, so...
We drive our kids to the school.
We drive them to the little league field.
We drive to Jubilee for a few groceries, and instead of walking the short distance and walking through traffc, we get in our cars, and drive to Mound True Value.

Commerce/Lynwood - a divider, or a uniter?
We build a Walgreens so cars can easily access it, but make people walk and bike all the way around the building to get to the entrance, and call it 'pedestrian friendly'. We deny on street parking for parks because it's more important that cars drive through fast. We redesign the trail crossings forcing bicyclist to stop, in part, so the cars who don't think about crosswalks have an easier time driving through Shoreline.

We of course have choices, but what kind of choice? What do you choose when you go from Jubilee to True Value? What do you choose if you get to Surfside late for a concert, and are forced to park two blocks away on Bartlett? What do you choose when you live 3 blocks from your local school, but have to cross one of our Boulevards? How do you choose to get to your fitness center?

Wilshire Blvd by Shirley Hills School - A great place to drive through, what about a place for students to get to?

How do you get to these places?

Are we REALLY given a choice?

It's up to us to demand to be given a real choice. We are saying that it should be just as easy and safe for walkers and bikers to get to Mound places, as it is to drive.

We have an opportunity to make our voice heard at the County level next week.
The county is in the process of creating its first official pedestrian plan. The goal is to increase walking and pedestrian safety throughout the county’s roadway system by creating a plan that will include strategies to support walking through infrastructure, facilities, enforcement, education and evaluation.
This is a county meeting, so it's not only Navarre issues they will be hearing about, but communities all around the lake.

Anyone want to bike with me to the meeting?

August 28, 2012

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Hosted by Orono/Navarre Community Initiative
Gray Freshwater Center
2500 Shadywood Road, Excelsior