Walking: A Perspective
I had a long drive back from my niece’s graduation party this past weekend. She and my brother’s family live west of Louisville in Indiana. It’s about an hour and 45 minute drive back to Cincinnati. Anyhow they live in a really small town, and upon arriving at their place I had assumed with a party that driveway parking was going to be a premium, so I ignored the driveway (and didn’t even notice the parking sign/lot across the street) and pulled along the street (also called street parking) and parked the car. Nobody knew at the time I had parked on the street. It’s nice when you drive a rental because nobody has a clue what you’re driving.
Later in the evening I had to grab something from the car while I was chatting with my brother. Upon arriving to my car he started yelling at me to get my attention waving his hands towards the driveway. I didn’t quite translate what he wanted, but I was assuming he was offering me his empty driveway for my car.
Seriously, I’m going to move the car how many feet? I Googled it tonight, and I estimated the car was parked 157 feet from the house. So, yeah..he was getting my attention to do me a favor; of saving myself a laborious 157 foot walk.
I must have thought a lot about it the way home or more this past week (a whole 3 days) because I felt the need to blog about how much I walk, and how most Americans are appalled of walking beyond their cars to anywhere. So I’m going to tell you where 157 feet rates in my everyday life.
In regards to work, I’m going to flashback to 3 years ago when I was working at the 5/3 (sucks!) office in Madisonville. I was living in Oakley which was 2 miles apart. I walked to work, and back nearly every day (I only took the bus when the weather was having a hissy fit, or needed to get home sooner to make an event). Through snow, sometimes rain, the heat near the end, etc. I persisted. Once upon a time I had borrowed my sister’s car when my mom was sick and I drove to work. I couldn’t remember the last time I had driven to work. Close to 10 years I had figured. I had made a note of it to my supervisor about my big drive to work this morning, and his answer was, “bet you didn’t find a parking spot near the place this morning”. I think I scratched my head for what seemed about 3 days, and gave him this confused look. “You know, normally I walk 2 miles to work every day” (which I had previously told him this), so even if I had to park on the other side of the street, it still would have been A LOT CLOSER than my average day. I Googled the farthest corner in the parking lot from the door (which is slightly farther away than my parking spot that morning) and it is an estimated 0.1 miles. That’s 1.9 miles less than my average day.
From my premium (and cheap) location in downtown Cincinnati, I walk wherever I go, or need to walk to a bus to destinations beyond what downtown has to offer. Here is a list of typical places I go to on a daily or weekly basis, and the estimated distance:
Jeff wants/needs to go to:
- The Reds game: 0.6 miles (about 3,168 ft) Whew!
- Work (6th & Vine): 0.5 miles
- Graeter’s (donuts/coffee in Fountain Square): also 0.5 miles
- Groceries: (to bus/TANK): 0.3 miles
- The public library: 0.2 (from work. It’s 0.7 from home.)
- Airport bus stop: (for trips or rental cars) 0.2 miles
- Bengals game: 0.2 miles
- Avis Rental car: 495 feet (Hertz was further and they sucked)
- Nearest bus stop/store (if it’s ever open): 295 feet (this stop gets me to Harrison, OH 21 miles away)
- 157 feet
- Craft beer store: 56 feet
- Roof: even less than that 🙂
So you see because of my lifestyle I see walking as an after thought. I just do it. I even used to have it easier when I biked everywhere, but those days are over (my bikes are still here, and would likely only get on one of them in an emergency). I enjoy walking, and it’s good for me, right? Now I have to walk across the room and get some ice cream. I think I’ll make it back. 🙂