This past weekend I was lucky enough to participate in a retreat with the other steering committee members of Los Angeles Walks, the pedestrian advocacy group I joined last year. Walking can be a very solitary activity, and I’ve realized it’s a very powerful metaphor for what we hope to accomplish. When you walk places you have lots of time to think, and more often than not I’d find myself thinking about all the ways I could improve the pedestrian experience before me. By the time I’d arrived at my destination, I’d mapped out a completely different route in my mind—one that had longer crosswalk signals, lower speed limits, wider sidewalks, more shade, and wayfinding signage on every corner. But it often felt like a losing battle. One person vs. millions of cars. My two feet vs. hundreds of square miles. Me vs. LA.
Joining Los Angeles Walks—and meeting all the awesome people I’ve met through the organization—has truly made me feel like I’m part of a larger, universal movement that’s growing every time I leave the house. After years of wandering the city alone on foot, noticing everything I’d do to make it better, I finally feel like I have a whole group of people walking right there beside me.
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