This is my second post on a course I’m taking. Walking has been my exercise of choice whether at the fitness center, traveling, or walking around the neighborhood where I live.
When OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) with the University of Virginia offered the Fall Course ~ The World of Walking ~, I was totally on-board. What could this instructor, Dan Kulund, possibly introduce us to about ‘Walking’ that would fill up a six-week, hour and half weekly class on The World of Walking. My first post on The World of Walking covered some of the styles of walking and tips on good walking form. This second post covers some of the interesting history of City Walking and how things have changed. Dr. Kulund, a retired orthopedist, is an expert at walking and its health benefits. The class is educational in both the slide presentations of the history of walking plus the experience of walking in a group and learning exercises and techniques along the way.
There was a time when folks in the city would walk all over and being a pedestrian was the most common form of getting around besides the horse and buggy. Trolley cars came on the scene and traveled 10 miles per hour so it was easy for pedestrians to safely coexist on city streets with street cars traveling along on their tracks. There were no curbs, no sidewalks ……… just trolley cars and walkers.
Along came the automobile in the 1930’s and with it the ever increasing speed of transit. Over the years it’s become a safety issue for pedestrians to find safe places to walk. As speed limits changed by law it was found that deaths of pedestrians did also ~ @ 20 MPH 1 out of 10 deaths, @30 MPH 5 out of 10 deaths and @ 30 MPH 9 out of 10 deaths. Sidewalks and curbs were included as safety measures to protect walkers.
Now there’s a movement to return to lower speed limits and pedestrian-only roadways.