Occupy All Streets

SARS-CoV-2 and isolation has created an interesting dynamic in my neighborhood: there are at least three-fold more people on the streets, riding bikes or taking walks. Makes sense when there aren’t many places to go in our cars. Our neighborhoods are becoming our hike and bike trails and I would argue it is long over due.

The roads in our neighborhoods have low speed limits for a reason. We should all be out there occupying space and exerting our right to walk, run, and bike, even in the road. Why? Most areas in Austin do not have a consistent policy when it comes to sidewalks. Many times the only place you can be is literally in the road.

Were the conditions in society different, some might argue this is a danger. I argue the roads in our neighborhoods have always been intended for this purpose and cars should be yielding to pedestrians at all times when not on major arterial roads. This would be defined as any road with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or less.

If you haven’t already, get out there and walk on your roads. Use caution of course and be courteous to your neighbors who are also walking and driving. This is not an excuse to be rude. However, the point is, low-speed neighborhood roads are intended for you to use. Take up that space and ask your friends on the road to slow down as they roll by.

When life goes back to normal, keep doing it. Be safe and have fun even if you can’t drive to the park right now.

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