Sidewalks

What does that word mean to you?

For me, it means a safe place to walk, after all, it is a side WALK!  Running or jogging on the sidewalk are fine, because, ultimately,  you are still walking, at a much faster rate.

Using a walker, wheelchair or mobility scooter on sidewalks is totally acceptable! Because those wheels are ones “feet” and you are, again, ultimately walking.

Two things NOT accepted on sidewalks are: Bicycles and Motorized Scooters – mini motorcycles.  (I am not ranting about skateboards, roller skates or the like.)

Hear me out!

A sidewalk is for walking!  Many Cities are building, or already have, bike-friendly lanes on major roads. Toronto has many!  The areas of Vancouver I have gone to so far, seem to have many bike lanes!  Yet, I still see many people zooming, as in quickly, speedily, fast, dangerously, riding on sidewalks!  Weaving around sidewalk users!  Recklessly whizzing past sidewallkers without a backwards glance!  I have seen people totally ignoring the bike lanes to ride on the sidewalk!  The cyclists go by so fast sometimes you don’t know there are there until they are well past you.  And, what’s more, they expect You, the sidewalk user, to get out of their way!  No!  I will not get out of your way!  If you are riding on the sideWALK, you get out of my way!

I was once given The Finger by some guy riding his BMX on the sidewalk.  Why?  I will tell you, I was walking on the sidewalk, probably meandering like I usually do, unaware someone was behind me trying to pass.  I’m pretty sure he yelled at me to “Get Outta the WAY!” but I didn’t hear them.  When he finally did pass, he looks back, with an angry face, and gives me The Finger.  I did nothing to deserve that insult! You, Mr. BMX, need to be taught a lesson in Riding Etiquette, mainly, the Sidewalk is for Walking!  It is not a SideRide!  I have the right to walk there, you do not have the right to ride there, insulting people who are walking in front of you!

Now, I understand that kids under 12 can, and should, ride on the sidewalk, for their safety.  The parent is responsible to teach riding etiquette, which means slowly, control and so forth.   If both parent and child are riding, the parent should follow kid.  I don’t have a beef with that.

If I see someone riding towards me on the sidewalk, I don’t step out of the way, unless its a child.  Why?  It is a Sidewalk!  for walking!  By not stepping out of the way, I force them to slow down or stop!

Scooters on sidewalks; these are the kind that are not mobility devices.  And you must wear a helmet.  For street use right?  I see many, everyday, people with scooters, zooming on the side walks.  One time, while living in Toronto, I confronted a man riding his scooter on the sidewalk.  But, first, I ran to a police officer to alert her of this infraction, the guy had parked on the sidewalk, impeding sidewalk users.  The cop didn’t show any interest at all, I got the impression that she had no intention of leaving her air conditioned car to pursue a scooter. So, I took it onto myself and ran after the guy, who was now motoring down the sidewalk full of people.  I caught up to him and yelled at him to “Stay Off The SIDEWALK”!  I was enraged!  More so at the police officer who did nothing!

Also in Toronto, I blasted an old man riding his scooter on the sidewalk, at night, without lights and no helmet!  I was mad!  He nearly knocked me, and my walker, over on his way to the liquor store!  I caught up to him before he got off his scooter and yelled at him!

I believe there are laws prohibiting riding bicycles, motorized scooters and such, on sidewalks.  Yet, police do nothing.  What about my safety?  I am Deaf-Blind with severe ataxia.  What if a cyclist hits me because I jerked in the way of an oncoming cyclist?  Or if someone crashes into me from behind?  What about friends with guide dogs, who can be easily startled by a rushing cyclist.  What about seniors using walkers?  They are usually slower to react to an oncoming cyclist?  What free range toddlers whose attention can draw them to a spec of colour or a blade of grass, with no regard to anything else.  Yes, the parent must be the child’s eyes and ears, because she is too young to understand. A rushing cyclist be damned!

Does it take an accident to make an impact, raise awareness, regarding Cyclists on Sidewalks?  What is the fine if caught?

If someone did ride into me, causing injury, you can rest assured I will do everything in my power to make them regret getting up that morning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

am not concerned about skateboards, roller skates or the like.  Let me get

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