Years ago, when I was a new mom, desperate to get out of the house in the middle of a cold winter, I decided to bundle up my babe, break out the stroller and walk to the grocery store. I didn’t realize how few people actually shovelled the sidewalks in front of their homes or businesses and it ended up being a very challenging walk. I was wishing for a much different type of stroller for most of that walk.
There are some things we take for granted. Things that are such a part of our daily life we don’t give them a second thought, until they aren’t there anymore and we realize how much we have depended on them.
Those sidewalks that were so easy to navigate in the warmer months, now covered in snow and slush were a formidable route.
Fast forward eight years and I found myself grateful to be walking through my new city without a stroller since many roads here have no sidewalks and the ones that are there tend to end abruptly, have gaping holes, random poles, open gutters, broken tiles, etc.
They are not easy to navigate and you must be on alert, both looking down to watch your footing and up to see what’s coming. It makes you think twice about walking anywhere.
This year, the city has made great efforts to create safer sidewalks for many parts of the city. We still need to navigate the tight corridors surrounding our residential areas but the main streets are being transformed to create a much more inviting, walkable neighbourhood. It really makes our area feel so much different.
Over the weekend, M and I were able to get away and chose to stay closer to home. We stayed in the SCBD (Sudirman Central Business District) area of the city. Every time I’m there I’m in awe of how different it feels; a well maintained, orderly area. We not only enjoyed walking on the sidewalks around the city, but also down a major artery of Jakarta of which, a part is closed to vehicles on Sunday mornings. Walkers, joggers, and bicyclists flock to this street every weekend.
Heading out my front door for a walk or jog or sending my kids out to ride bikes around the neighbourhood isn’t as easy as it was in Niagara, but we’re finding ways to get around and enjoy the city by foot.