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10 reasons to be nice to pedestrians in 2011

Posted by Anthony Flint  December 29, 2010 02:14 PM

1. If you're driving, you'll soon be one. Think of how deferential you are in the parking lot outside Target. You know that as soon as you park the car, you're going to be in their shoes, trying to cross or deposit a shopping cart.

2. Some very famous crosswalks are being honored with historic designation -- the one used by the Beatles for the cover of Abbey Road (28 IF? No socks for Paul).

3. Because our children deserve Safe Routes to School.

4. Walking (and biking, and roller-blading) consumes no fossil fuels and discharges no carbon emissions to worsen global warming.

5. A well-functioning city depends on it -- and will spur good urban design to make for more livable, walkable urban environments everywhere (see No. 4).

6. It's refreshingly human to make eye contact from behind the wheel and usher someone across. When's the last time you gave someone the finger out walking? (Present company excepted).

7. Good behavior will slow the explosion of speed bumps, speed humps, flashing lights and bright yellow warning signs that constitute such a form of streetscape blight. It might even inspire a few more woonerfs.

8. In Massachusetts, it's the law -- motorists must yield to pedestrians in unsignaled crosswalks.

9. Anyone out braving the elements deserves accomodation.

10. It's Christmas. In pedestrian-motorist relations, it can be year round.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
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About the author

Anthony Flint is a fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a think tank in Cambridge, Mass. and author of Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on More »

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