I’m walking: struggles of a pedestrian

Two pair of feet on old cobblestone in Prague

Not only do I like hiking, I like walking in general. Which is why I walk every work day to my office and try do most of my other errands also by foot. All started in 2011 when I sold my car. Since then, I am mostly on my feet so to say.

The benefits of walking

There are a lot of benefits in the life of a walker. First of all, I am a lot calmer now.It is a good thing to be in motion and out in the fresh air before the work daystarts. I feel much better, am hardened against ice-cold temperatures and I have a healthy complexion.  Moreover, Isee a lot of things on my way which I wouldn’t even notice in a car. There are crooked trees, friendly dogs, ducks in the canal and I can properly read event announcements and don’t need to pass at least three to get the whole information. Most of all, I am relaxed by the time I reach the office.

The life of a pedestrian is dangerous

Unfortunately, there is also a big disadvantage of walking: you are in great danger, every single time. Believe me, that is no exaggeration. As the weakest traffic participant (after kids), pedestrians have to be more than careful and on the watch. In seven years of walking to work, I don’t know how many times I would have been run over by a car if it hadn’t been for my awareness. You have to think for the drivers. In Austria it is an obligation to allow pedestrians an unimpeded and safe crossing of the street at a zebra crossing. I would say, atleast half of the drivers I had the pleasure with don’t know or don’t care. Honestly, I think for the majority it’s the last. They simply don’t care.

You can’timagine how often I was crossing the street and cars even accelerated only topass the zebra crossing right before I reached the middle of the street. Some of them only centimetres away from my toes. Not only once I was tempted to hit their car with a hard object. So far, I didn’t and I don’t really want to.

Put it on film?

But honestly? What I would like to do is start recording. I am very good at remembering plate numbers, so that would be that, but I would need to film them with a camera too. And that’s something I don’t see myself doing. Or would you like to walk the streets constantly filming? Wearing a GoPro on your head? 😀 I don’t think so. More so, by filming with a smartphone I would be distracted which means I would endanger myself even more. So, I don’t want to do that. My sense of justice doesn’t justify injuries.

Let traffic offenders pay!

Although, when I think about all the children out there who aren’t that cautious just yet I getthe creeps and I feel the urge to cry for punishment. I have watched the same scene as mentioned above several times with a kid on the street and every single time is one too many. It is utterly dangerous to ignore pedestrians on zebra crossings. It can cost lives. I still don’t get my head around it, that so many drivers are still behaving in such a careless way.

What I wish for is a regular presence of the police near zebra crossings. They need to penalize drivers who don’t stop when a pedestrian needs to cross the street. The penalties are high in Austria (€ 726 and higher) and if common sense isn’t enough to watch out for other traffic participants, maybe a high penalty will be.

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Highway to Hell and my Update on it

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