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Safe streets for seniors

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  • Christopher Miller
    The latest from Streetfilms is a mini-documentary about measures being taken in New York City to improve the safety of street crossings for seniors with
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 22, 2009
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      The latest from Streetfilms is a mini-documentary about measures being
      taken in New York City to improve the safety of street crossings for
      seniors with reduced mobility. If you walk only slowly and with
      difficulty and have a reduced reaction time, it is that much harder to
      get to the other side of an intersection safely.

      http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/nycseniors/

      I think this is pretty germane as well to the discussion about who can
      or cannot cycle and why (not). Certainly a large portion of the
      population everywhere is in principle capable of cycling and many use
      cars when they are likely capable of getting where they want to go as
      easily and fast by bike. (This is probably the vast majority of
      inhabitants of dense inner city districts who elect to drive
      everywhere they go.) Even so, under ideal circumstances, a 30-minute
      commute time is about what most people aim at and if they can't do
      that by biking, it's their right to elect a more practical and time-
      saving mode (in a car-free context, public transit).

      There are many people, like some of those in the streetfilms clip, who
      would have a difficult time of it even on tricycles. Other people,
      like Joel has said for his own case, are not able to bike anywhere and
      everywhere in any weather, even if many people are hardy enough to do
      so.

      It's not fair to assume that those who for whatever reason don't feel
      they would be able to bike everywhere all the time are somehow lazy
      for that. Cycling does need to be promoted, encouraged and given a
      larger place in cities across the industrialised world and elsewhere,
      but browbeating non-cyclists only serves to put an intolerant,
      hectoring face on the carfree movement (which some opponents would be
      all too happy to leap upon and tar us all with) that in the end will
      only be counterproductive.

      Remember the parable of the sun and the north wind. The more the north
      wind tried to blow the traveller's cape of, the tighter he drew it
      around his body to protect himself. However the sun, by beaming his
      warm rays down onto the traveller, quickly got him to take off the cape.


      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada
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