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Have You Walked a Mile with a Child? (and Other Questions about Walk/Bike-Friendly Greenwashing)

Posted Sep 03 2011 5:56am
Many cities are spending a whole lot of hot air claiming how walkable and bike-friendly they are, but I have simple questions for each and every city leader: 

Have you walked a mile with a child? (and not just in a big crowd on Walk to School Day)

Have you pushed your mother in a wheelchair on your city's sidewalks, or walked with her with a cane or walker ?  Would you be comfortable with her doing this on her own in your city?  

Have you accompanied a mom with a newborn in a stroller all the way to the supermarket?  

Have you crossed the street with someone who can't see or someone who can't hear?  

Have you made sure every 12-year-old in your city can ride his or her bike from their homes to a community center or park or store without their safe route being compromised?  

Have you stood at a non-traffic-signal crosswalk and counted how many drivers it takes before one stops (as is the law)?

Simple stuff, folks.  Any time I hear a city official making claims that I simply know are not true (because I see the trucks on the sidewalk and the crosswalks ignored and the crossing buttons too far away for someone with disabilities or even a stroller to access, and poles and bus stops jutting into the sidewalks and uneven, cracked pavement), I know that this official has not walked a mile with a child, or a mom, or a senior, or someone with disabilities.  And I wonder, perhaps, if this city official has walked in my shoes at all.

See a whole lot more about walking and biking a mile with a child in my book , which is about a wide range of sustainability-related topics, not just food.
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