3.24.2007

a block of order tucked into many blocks of chaos

yesterday I left work early...
was not feeling well
was having a hard time making it through the day
so I requested to get out early
my boss abliged

not feeling well I meandered on the bike towards home at a slow pace
drifting around the city, not pointed directly towards home

stopped for a few photos
would have liked to have stopped for more
rolled through the parks caught up with some friends
caught up with some familiar faces
was trying to get home in time to rest before getting the boys from school

it all worked out well
arrived home to find the wife with our younger son
we went together to pick up our older son
then we drove across town to play in a park that I had scoped out earlier this week on my bike
in my mind I thought I was bringing the boys to OZ
I was certain that we were about to enter the world of NARNIA
but when we pulled up at the park the boys told me that that mom had taken them to this park before
I turned to the wife... she confirmed that she had taken them to this park before
they were excited just the same
as this park is pretty fantastic

we climbed on the rope pyramid together as a family
dean racing me ot the top
we hung out at the top and surveyed the area around us
being overprotective I issued various orders of caution
there was racing and an excess of spinning that children love and adults can barely endure
the afternoon carried a threat of rain that never came
some drops and nearly a drizzle, but never any rain
after a decent amount of time was spent at this park we loaded up the element and rolled on

we left behind us an interesting scene
a park pressed against interstat 395
with kids playing basketball while other kids skateboarded under the highway
within sight there were trains and there were horses
the park was vast by urban standards
and strangely vacant for such a beautiful day

before leaving "the hill" we stopped in at The Eastern Market
grabbed some hot dogs, some sausages, and some kraut
as our block was sceduled to have an informal alley party

on our drive home we had one last errand to run
I had promised the boys that I would buy them each one of those key chains that a man with a great number of keys would wear around his belt
the retractable kind
the kind they saw on a neighbor who is a dog walker's hip
so we mandered through the city back into mount pleasant up to the main strip
the chaos was its usually third world chaos
then at the intersection of Lamont and Mount Pleasant there was something different

at this corner there were two police officers on foot
standing in the intersection
it appeared that they were issueing tickets to those that were failing to stop at the four way stop
even the Metro buses were making complete stops and yeilding to pedestrians

there was order on this corner
there was order and there was safety
but only on this one corner
as the rest of the strip had no threat of ticketing... people acted as they wished
but on this one corner.... there was order and safety
it was a tad chaotic to have order surrounded by such chaos

it was good to see
as it is an effort pointing in the right direction

but...
there needs to be a change of behavior at the intersections at all times
not just when an officer is present
the metro bus needs to stop at the stop signs and yeild to pedestrians not just at this corner but at all corners
and yes.... all the time... not just durning the times when police are present

it is like raising children
I do not want my kids to play with fire or mess with guns
but... this aim is not just for when my children are in my presence
this desire of my children stay clear of these things even when the are not under my supervision

the hardware store had the keychains... they were more expensive than I wished to spend
so we left without buying anything

we arrived home to an alley party
the was a grill going
and all sorts of children on scooters, skateboards, and bicycles racing around the alley

it looks like the mayor and the police chief are getting pro-active in making changes in pedestrian safety
but... it takes more than an afternoon of issueing tickets to change behavior
we need people to behave even when the officer is not within sight

on monday I am going to review the Bicycle Master Plan

No comments: