Saturday, April 12, 2014
The One Piece of Sidewalk I Need
Okay, I've not been positive that The World Is Against Me, but there is mounting evidence. I've watched it accumulate over the years, piece by piece, but I've always been able to dismiss it. Coincidences, that's all. I mean, if I have in a drawer every type of battery except one--guess which type I need that day? Or if I really need that special table at Bruegger's today, guess what I see when I walk in the door? Or if I decide to leave the umbrella in the car--just for a minute? You get the picture.
And speaking of pictures, what you see above is, more or less, my morning route from my house to Bruegger's, where I work for a couple of hours each morning, sipping coffee from a mug that cost me a fortune but allows me to have "free" coffee for the entire year. (How long before I lose it? Or someone steals it?) Anyway, I have a few transportation rules I follow on this route of about a half-mile each way: (1) If it's below 20 degrees, I drive; (2) if it's below 40 degrees, I walk; (3) if it's above 40 degrees, I bike; (4) if it's raining, I walk with umbrella; (5) if it's an electrical storm, I drive. Sensible, mature rules, wouldn't you say.
Now, if you look at that picture closely, you'll see, to the left (the west) are two sets of train tracks. Each has a bridge over the sidewalk, and, as I've written elsewhere, I hate it when I'm under a bridge while a train is roaring overhead. What if it fell? (There's really no what if? here, is there? I'd be dead--that's all.)
What you can't see from the picture is that there is only one sidewalk under the bridge--on the north side of Ohio 303. The south side has no walkway, just a curb. What you also can't see: People drive 1000 miles an hour on 303 in the morning (they just can't wait to get to work!). So ... when I bike, I stay on the sidewalk all the way (thus, I live to ride another day).
Anyhow, on Wednesday this week, I was walking briskly to Bruegger's (mouthing the memorized poems I recite silently each morning), but when I arrived at the portion of the sidewalk that goes under the RR bridges ... orange traffic cones. That's odd, I thought, marching resolutely under the bridge. And when I got to the other end, I saw 2 more orange traffic cones--along with yellow police tape connecting them. Uh oh.
On the way home, I waited until there was little traffic and hurried along the curb-side of 303, feeling like a game animal with some mobile hunters behind me. I knew I could not do that again, not if I wanted to live much longer.
The next day was nicer, so I biked. And when I arrived at the bridges, I saw a sign this time: SIDEWALK CLOSED. So I waited for traffic to slow, biked out onto 303, pedaled rapidly under the two bridges (wishing I'd taken performance-enhancers), then back onto the open portion of the walk. Whew. Same thing on the way home.
But I knew I was tempting the Grim Reaper. When I got home, I emailed the city of Hudson: How long will the sidewalk be closed? No answer, of course.
And so ... until it reopens, I'm going to have to drive, to forgo my morning constitutional.
The only good news in this? I'm now positive that The World Is Against Me. I mean, think about it: The one piece of sidewalk that I absolutely need is closed until ... Forever, probably.
PS--The only other sidewalk route is 1.5 miles each way.
PPS--Saturday morning: IT'S OPEN!!! Forget everything I just said--the world is not against me!