Crosswalks and other city challenges


Photo: Flickr / Robyn Lee

Last Friday, Jerry and I attended an induction ceremony for our oldest daughter as an Arizona DECA state officer. It wasn’t travel, per se, but it did involve some travel-related challenges.

We had to park and walk. I didn’t think anything of it since the parking garage is located across the street from the Phoenix Convention Center—it didn’t seem very far, and Jerry has been doing great walking in public.

Lesson: Don’t underestimate the distance when you are going somewhere new (and it’s 110 degrees).

You can’t cross slowly. Crosswalks are designed for community walking pace. Jerry hasn’t quite reached that speed. It didn’t help that he wasn’t at the edge of the curb so he wasted the first few seconds. We found ourselves in the middle of the intersection when traffic got the green arrow for left turns.

Lesson: Be prepared at crosswalks to maximize the time you do have. Remember you have the right of way. Keep walking. Don’t get flustered.

Stairs are everywhere. You don’t realize it until you’re out in public, and even though there are designated ramps, you may have to walk further to get to them.

Lesson: There isn’t much you can do about stairs. On the other hand, because of ADA requirements (height, railings, etc.), this might be the perfect opportunity to practice walking up and down them.

There’s no need to rush. It’s easy to get caught in the flow. After the induction ceremony, several other families caught up to and then bypassed us. I had to remind myself that there was no need to keep pace.

Lesson: Allow additional time to get to and from venues. Then, go at your own pace. There’s rarely any need to rush.

Restaurants can be tricky. Although restaurants do need to be ADA compliant, layout and tight table configurations can present an obstacle course, especially if there’s a wheelchair involved. (I’ll write about restaurants in a separate post soon.)

Lesson: If you have concerns, visit the restaurant beforehand to look for any potential problems. Talk to the staff about any concerns. Most will be willing to accommodate you.