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Margaret Powling

Having a car and also being on a bus route I can imagine how annoying it is when buses don't travel as far as you want them to, or there is no pavement (sidewalk) to walk on. But I like the photo of the bus shelter. Yes, it's the small things which make life so much better. Maybe someone ought to write "The good sidewalk book" where it is pleasant to walk! Or "The good bus shelter book" where you can be sheltered from the elements! Surely, there's an opening there, a bit like the Good Food Guide only for urban walkers and users of public transport. America is large, there could be one for each State, with uniform covers, a bit like the old Baedekers!
I get these mad thoughts every so often ...

Dorothy W.

I HATE the fact that life can be so hard for pedestrians in so many places. It makes no sense at all -- Americans need to walk!! So I'm glad you've got your new sidewalk and I hope someone keeps it shoveled. Enjoy your new book!


I used to take the bus and it was so nice to have a decent bus stop to wait at. It's not a small thing at all when you do that every day.


We were car free until we moved to Baltimore 2 years ago, and my husband had to be at work before public transport started in the morning. I still do a lot of walking, and I am amazed at the number of places that don't have sidewalks, or whose sidewalks don't have wheelchair ramps!


Having never owned a car until 6 months ago, I am very fond of walking. And I agree with you, it is astonishing when something is done for the benefit of pedestrians! It shouldn't amaze quite so much, and yet it does. I don't understand new developments being built without sidewalks.


So glad you have some nice pavement to walk on! I remember on my trip to L.A. trying to walk back to the motel after a dinner out with some other conference delegates and finding there was no sidewalk at all! It was most surprising. I'll be very interested to hear how the Desarthe goes - I must dig out the novels I have by her.


It is the little things. That's one of the things I do like about Tokyo, people generally walk and use public transport. The train system is very efficient so people only use their cars on weekends if that. Needless to say we don't have one and we can go almost anywhere we want to by train and then walking.


Margaret--That would be nice--to have a walker's guide. I think city planner's here think first and foremost of people and their cars rather than pedestrians and people in wheelchairs and public transportation. With the gas situation, they should really be thinking of alternative modes of transportation!!
Dorothy--I hate it, too. The older part of the city where I live is fine with sidewalks, but where the city is sprawling--there aren't quite so many--it's all strip malls, which is fine (well, actually I hate them), but how does one get from one to another! Anyway, when I saw the man pouring the concrete I felt like going up to him and saying Thank You! :)
Jaimie--It is very nice having a shelter. The university maintains their stops very well. The other places I catch the bus are not as nicely maintained. And it's so annoying when vandals ruin things as then the bus company doesn't want to replace the benches or shelters!
Alisia--I complain, but you're right about the wheelchair ramps. I can at least plow through grass or whatever, but someone in a wheelchair is stuck. I'm wondering if the sidewalk was actually made to make it ADA compliant (which it should be!).
Litlove--Isn't it terrible? Americans love their cars and I guess it shows. It's fine to have a car, but people do sometimes need to get out of them and need to have places to walk on! I like the Desarthe book. It's different than I thought it would be. Sort of philosophical. Myriam narrates the story and we get to see inside her head, but I have a feeling she is quite a chameleon and I wonder how many times she has reinvented herself.
Tanabata--That sounds wonderful! Isn't Tokyo one of the world's largest cities? They've obviously planned it well if you don't have to have a car. Where I live, you pretty much need one. I bet it's nice and clean there, too! I'd love to live in a city like that!


It's always great to be grateful for little things.

Keeps you sane.


I guess it's a problem in the US that you sometimes HAVE to have a car in order to get to many places. When I'm thinking of places like L.A. I'm not seeing any buses, no matter how hard I try to imagine them. Sad but true :( Fortunately it's completely different in most of the European countries and I'm a big fan of public transport in places like London or Berlin. We also have nice shelters like the one you are showing here - it's a necessary place to hide from rain and wait for a bus in peace.


Isabel--I know when I saw this it made my day!!
Chihiro--I think for a long time American cities have been planned with the idea of cars in mind. I remember reading how carmakers here essentially put the railroads out of business when it comes to passenger travel. Granted it is a large country and things are spread out, but some cities are very 'green'--and bike and pedestrian friendly. I've been to several European cities and they've all had excellent, clean public transport--I'm quite envious!


Everything you're saying about the lack of thought for pedestrians makes me think of something I read by Rebecca Solnit. She talks about the disappearance of the walking world and how it's becoming so much more dangerous to walk because we are all so alone. Everyone else is in a bubble (their cars)
I searched and I'm pretty sure it's from Wanderlust: A History of Walking (2002)
She writes very beautifully. And I really really think she's right. It's a shame that so many places are now built to accommodate our need for driving

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