These boots were made for walking

But unfortunately, these streets were not!

Saturday afternoon, we walked to an apartment viewing.  I knew it was less than a mile away, and the streets were in no condition for biking (for those of us without studded tires), so we laced up our boots and began the trek.  Unfortunately, the most direct route took us down a major arterial with lots of businesses.

I expected unshoveled sidewalks.  What I didn’t expect were the mounds of piled-up dirty snow and ice we encountered every time we came to the driveway to one of these businesses*.  The snow plows did a great job of clearing the streets and parking lots for drivers, with no regard whatsoever to any other users or means of transportation.  And we were not the only ones navigating the obstacle course, as a major bus route runs along this street, which means more pedestrians.

Despite the less than ideal walking conditions, I’m glad we opted to walk.  The apartment was another bust, which just made me extra glad we didn’t waste gas driving.  After viewing the apartment, we ventured just a bit further and had a lovely, snowy walk in Tower Grove Park — a great way to redeem the outing :)

* I don’t have photo evidence of the snow “removal” transgressions, but if there’s snow where you are, just look around when you’re out and about — I’m sure you’ll notice plenty of examples — especially if you’re out on foot!

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3 Responses to These boots were made for walking

  1. I totally know what you mean about the car-centric snow removal. It’s like if you’re not in a car you don’t exist. You know, when I lived in Norway I was able to ride my bike all through the winter with no problems. They don’t actually try to shovel or remove the snow there, instead they have these special trucks with rollers that pack it down on both the streets and sidewalks, but they leave a patch that’s about 2 feet wide unpacked between the street and the sidewalk. So by the end of the winter, walking (or skiing – which is the preferred mode of transportation) in the sidewalks was like walking through a tunnel because the snow on either side was so high!

    I never really thought about it before, but it sure seems like a much more sensible strategy to me than trying to remove all of the snow. Although, I suppose it only works because it never really gets above freezing during the winter, so nothing can melt and re-freeze to cause ice.

    We’re bracing for another 10 inches tonight. Winter took her time getting here this year, but she’s making up for it now! Too bad about the apartment bust, looking for an extra bedroom I assume? :)

    • Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      I can only imagine that some of the some of more bike-friendly cities in Northern Europe have much more equitable ways of handling snow — how fun that you got to see for yourself!

      Yes, we’re looking for a slightly larger apartment (though the green side of me says we should stay put and work with the space we have). I guess we’re just pretty picky, or maybe it’s a bad time of year, or both ;) We certainly have a long “wish list” of features. We don’t have to move immediately, but I’m getting kind-of discouraged.

  2. Yeah, living in Norway was a whole different take on transportation! All of the busses have ski racks on the side because most people get around on either skis or sparks in the winter. I’ve never seen sparks in the US, but it was an indespensible form of winter transportation there… certainly the best way to haul groceries in the snow!
    http://www.kicksled.com

    I don’t envy you in your apartment search. Moving is such a major pain, and the stress of the decision is none too fun either. Have you and your husband ever considered buying? I guess that’s a bit of a scary prospect given the ups and downs of the market these days, but I’d bet there are some bargains out there with all the HUD reposessions and people who really, REALLY want to sell. I bought my house 16 years ago and it’s turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I’m certainly not in a posh section of town, but I have a huge yard (aka huge garden) and my mortgage is indescribably tiny (like less than what you could rent a studio apartment for these days. ) I was totally terrified about the whole prospect, but it’s given me so much more freedom than I never would have enjoyed otherwise. Of course, it’s not like you have a shortage of big life altering commitments at the moment, but it’s worth thinking about and running the numbers.

    XOXOXO,
    Rebecca

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