Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Walk, Bike, Ride

Renee at Womanist Musings posted a video of Judith Butler and Sunaura Taylor taking a walk and talking about what that means when a person isn't literally "walking", and about disability and social acceptance.  This is not a subject I know very much about, but I do think about mobility often as I am walking around my neighborhood and to work.  We live near enough our workplaces to walk or ride a bike, and are lucky to have a nearby bus stop when it is not comfortable to do either.  There is an old apartment complex a few blocks away that houses mostly older people and many war veterans.  I see them in motorized wheelchairs, oftentimes riding in the road because the sidewalks are not even or there are no curb cuts.  The first time I saw it happen, I was annoyed, but now I think about how scary it must be to ride in the road (just as some cyclists are scared) but have no other option, because the sidewalks are only usable to those who can step up and down, and over obstructions.

I feel very lucky that we have so many options of getting around. In the morning I just have to pick what kind of shoes to wear that day, and that is how I decide how to get around.  When we move, I know the chances are pretty small that we'll have such a good location.  I just hope we don't have to buy a second car.  That makes me frown just typing it.

This is a reminder to think about what sidewalks are for and that many differently-abled people need to be able to use them.  I need to remember this when I pull my car into my tiny, steep driveway, so the end isn't sticking in the sidewalk. If you have a sidewalk around your house/apartment, get some hedge trimmers and make sure there isn't any vegetation that would block the way, or cause someone to step into the road.  I know as a pedestrian, it bugs the shit out of me.  If people leave their garbage cans turned over in the way, move them.  If they keep doing that, move them LOUDLY.  Yeah, I'm the person that's doing that.

Here is a  "passive aggressive note" about blocking walkways (I think it's wonderful) that the car owner didn't really understand.


  1. I'm having trouble loading the video over at Womanist Musings, but i recognize that conversation from a documentary called 'An Examined Life' - I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it. (It's on Netflix!)

  2. THAT'S where it's from! We've got that in our library's collection, and I've always wondered about it. I'll check it out, as I'm sure I'll be mostly house-bound. It's below freezing here (which is crazy for Arkansas).


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