Friday, September 26, 2008

Hard Times or Dumb Head?, or, This Ain't Mulberry Street

As I've gone on about before, I've had to walk to or from work a few times recently. At six miles, it's less the distance than the route that is the challenge. When I lived near Hillsboro Village, everywhere I wanted to go was either pedestrian friendly (sidewalks) or accessible by bus. The bus stop was conveniently at the end of my street on 21st Avenue.

Now I live in Hermitage and work in Donelson. Pedestrians are noticeably not welcome in these parts. The walk down Elm Hill Pike has no sidewalks and hardly even a shoulder for safe walking alongside its busy road. Still, I do what I must and walk carefully, mindful of traffic and rude drivers. I have a bicycle, but I'm not brave enough to ride it down Elm Hill. Woe is me, right? Not compared to some.

Yesterday I was driving the hotel shuttle down Elm Hill Pike and I saw a sight which concerned me greatly. It was that of a young mother pushing her baby in a stroller down Elm Hill. In the picture below, you'll see where I saw them, walking eastbound against westbound traffic. At least the mother might be able to observe a dangerous situation that way, but I question her ability to maneuver the stroller's four wheels over the curb and into the grass at a moment's notice. Can you even call that a shoulder? When on foot, I keep my feet in the grass.

Anyway, I drove back by ten minutes later and didn't see them again. Was it just one of those unfortunate situations where she felt she had no choice? I wish she and her daughter well. And I want some more sidewalks in my town.


Kate said...

Oh, I shudder at that thought. I can see that stretch from my husband's office. More than once I want to offer people a ride, but this just isn't the place for that. I wish you and everyone on two feet a safe trip, Elm Hill is not a walkable road.

Heidi said...

let them know! write city council or mayor or whoever it is that can give the orders to get those sidewalks made. include your anecdote about seeing mother walking baby.

peach said...

You are absolutely right. There are sections of town that are more pedestrian friendly. I'll tell you though, that night when my neighbours and I took the dogs walking down Old Hickory to Starbucks, I was more than a little afraid. It's 5 lanes and very busy. My pooch however, was totally clueless. :)