Posts tagged walking
I love going for walks to take pictures especially in the clear, cold winter days. Yesterday was such a day. It was a sunny, -32°C winter afternoon. It was cold enough but I was dressed for the weather.
My second stop of the day took me to the trails around Frame Lake and between the lake and the hospital. The trails are well traveled which is good to see. People out walking and running and taking advantage of the area we live in.
Unfortunately there appears to be too many irresponsible dog owners that also walk their dogs on the trails. I was disgusted to see the number of piles of dog poop sitting along the almost pristine trails. I have a hard time understanding the mind set of these dog owners.
My dogs have been trained to go to the bathroom in our dog pen and seldom do they go poop outside the pen but when they do, we always have a poop bag to pick it up. We have always been responsible dog owners this way. But why are there so many dog owners who feel it is ok to leave their dog’s deposits wherever they may go? What makes them believe that no one cares? How can they be that irresponsible?
Do these owners not realize that it is unsightly and even more so, unhygienic? In fact, this is how disease can be spread. 1 gram of dog feces can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria that can cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal disorders and kidney problems. Sure, it is winter right now and it is frozen, but when the snow melts, the feces melts too and becomes a stinky, disease infested mess on the trails that we like to walk on for pleasure.
These irresponsible owners also can’t use the excuse that they forgot their doggie doodie bags. The trails have dog poop bags along the way so that people who did forget their bags can do the right thing. Unfortunately, too many people just think about themselves and not the rest of us who like to enjoy the outside or about the environment. They don’t care about the health of the rest of us or of our dogs either.
Is it they don’t really know how to pick up their dogs waste? Well here are some tips for them. Take a read if you are one of those people. Take it upon yourself to become educated and become that responsible dog owner.
Time to take a break from the election today and talk about another issue that has been stuck in my craw for a while now. My issue is walking, speeding, attention and crosswalks. Here is what has had me up in arms for several years now.
I walk to work every morning. I usually walk back home for lunch and back to work again afterwards with a final walk back home at the end of the work day. It is not a long walk…only about 3 blocks or so. But many days it is a very dangerous walk. It is dangerous because the road is a busy road and I have to cross it.
Sometimes it is dangerous because of the road conditions, sometimes the sidewalks are pure ice. Sometimes, as on Thursday, I am half way across a crosswalk only to have some moron talking on their cell phone go speeding right behind me and miss me by inches. Sure, they slowed until I was half way across and then sped right through. Sometimes I get half way across the road and have to stop because the driver coming from the right side is not paying attention and will zip in front of me.
The problem with all of this is that my entire walk to work is a school zone. A SCHOOL ZONE. Where people are supposed to do 30km/h and be paying attention. This school zone is also not only for one school but for 3 schools. A section of road that travels in front of 3 schools where approximately 1700 students attend school. I am talking about 52nd Ave. running from 49th St., past the 3 schools and finishing at 50th Ave.
The City of Yellowknife bylaw enforcement does their small (read that as minute) bit to help on this stretch of road. On the first day or 2 of school they manage to set up a couple of speed traps to catch those speeders traveling the road. After that? I see the odd car travel by, and occasionally they even park at the curb in a wide open space so they are easy to see from each direction hoping to pick up the odd blind bat driver. Unfortunately, this does little to curb the speeding that takes place on this road. And don’t get me started about after school hours where the road is used as a race track by drivers in a hurry. I guess bylaw forgets that the 30km/h speed limit is in force 24/7/365. Funny thing is they seem to have little problem in tagging cars who are parked at an expired parking meter downtown. I keep forgetting what a safety issue that is.
I think though that the major issue on the stretch of road is the lack of crosswalk markings. Let’s look around the rest of the city. There is a fairly main road that runs a block in front of Range Lake North School and there are 2 crosswalk crossing lights. In front of St. Joes Catholic School is a busy thoroughfare and it too has a crosswalk crossing light and a 3-way stop. Mildred Hall School, by its location, has traffic lights and the associated walk lights in 2 locations across the street from it. In front of Sir John Franklin, Weledeh and St. Pats? Nothing!! The funny thing is the city knows this is a busy area.
On the stretch of road I am talking about are at least 7 painted crosswalks. That is it. No crosswalk signs, no crosswalk lights. In fact one of the crosswalks has a transit stop on either side and I have watched students get off the Yellowknife Transit System buses, start to cross in front of the bus only to have a car go racing by. Or kids running across the road to catch a bus only to just escape the smack-down of a car as it races by.
Oh yes, those painted crosswalks. Yeah! That’s a good one. This is the land of ice, snow and 3 inches of winter gravel on the road, at least during most of the school year. From the first snow until the street sweepers remove the sand and gravel, they can’t be seen. Even when they become visible at this time of year, the winter sand and gravel has rubbed and faded them so they are almost invisible. The city then makes sure they are freshly painted for the first day of school so they can remain seen for 2 months (maybe).
My question to the Yellowknife council members, bylaw officers and others of the city is why there is no indication of crosswalks on this area of road. Is it going to take someone getting hurt or worse before this is looked at? Wouldn’t it make sense to at least put a crossing light at the crosswalk where the 2 transit stops are and make sure it is blinking at least during school hours to act as a reminder for motorists? The city put in a 4 way stop at 52nd St. on the same avenue to slow traffic down. If a crosswalk light is too expensive then maybe 47th street needs to be made into a 3 way stop? Maybe more patrols and more frequent speed traps along this section of road?
Regardless of what is done, the city needs to do something and the motorists who travel this section of road need to pay more attention. Students are coming and going during the day all along this stretch of road and you need to be more attentive. Did I mention that the person who almost hit me the other day was on their cell. Yeah, trying to make a point. Pay attention when you drive. I don’t want to be out walking one day and see someone get hit…or be hit myself.
- Walk this way: How to get a crosswalk on your street (grist.org)
- Death prompts call for school speed limits (cbc.ca)
- Walkable cities begin at the crosswalk (timesunion.com)