As I spend more and more time in Springfield, Illinois, it amazes me more and more how few people I see out walking. It’s almost as if unless I’m in a park, I don’t ever run into anyone on the sidewalks. I on the other hand, walk basically everywhere. I walk to work, I walk to the grocery store, I walk almost anywhere I need to go in town.
For the most part, Springfield isn’t very walkable (see the Walk Score below), it’s actually quite reliant on having a vehicle. Luckily, the placement of everything I need happens to be placed as conveniently as possible. My office is nestled behind the best grocery store in town which happens to be a short, five-minute walk from the apartment I stay at. There’s restaurants, pharmacies, stores, and much more all within a ten-minute walk. For me, outside of to meet someone or business that brings me out of my bubble, there’s really no reason to drive. In a given week, I rarely drive more than a couple of times.
No doubt, I’m not in the majority of people. My setup in town is very unique with regards to how everything falls so close together. Still, there are thousands of people who live in the same neighborhood as I do who have many of the same opportunities, and I’m never seeing them on the sidewalks. Take for instance a tenant who lives in the same apartment complex as I do. I once saw this tenant get in their vehicle and drive to the grocery store as I was heading to the same store. By the time they got in their car, drove to the store, and parked I was already in the store! That lack of effort didn’t make sense to me. It’s not only easy to walk to the store but it’s great exercise and helps you buy less stuff. It’s difficult to carry cartload of food you don’t need.
By the time April arrives in Central Illinois, I’m increasingly ready to just be outside. It’s nice to hear the birds again, to see the green grass and the flowers starting to bloom, and feel the warmth again. There’s nothing wrong with not walking a lot, I don’t can’t imagine not taking advantage of the experience. Until others realize what they’re missing, I’ll keep on enjoying my lonely sidewalks.
Published on 4/1/2016 5:36:03 AM