How to upgrade our community without spending a dime. Crosswalks and Courtesy

by lulujane on February 28, 2009

dscn1428x420Some people in my city of Windsor, Ontario are high on promoting our community/region as the perfect place for seniors to retire.  Essex County is known as the Banana Belt, being the southernmost point in Canada.  Actually at Point Pelee we are on the same parallel as Rome, Italy and Northern California.  That’s pretty impressive.

I recently attended a presentation by Mr. Lynne Adams of the new Senior Advisory Council in Windsor. Many seniors have concerns about crossing busy streets.   Lynne mentioned that some busy intersections have lights timed in a way that does not permit sufficient time for unhurried crossing.  When a light turns green a pedestrian should first check traffic, then look down to ensure safe footing before starting to walk.   Feeling rushed makes some seniors, as well as people with disabilities, feel nervous and unsafe.

Another observation I made while in Florida in January was the courtesy I was consistently shown by drivers,  driving in traffic, and while I was a pedestrian.  I think I noticed it because of the sharp contrast to how people drive in my hometown of Windsor where drivers rush to beat other cars and pedestrian through an intersection or crosswalk with an ‘it’s all about me’ attitude.

One way to attract seniors to our community, as well as enhancing the lives of those presently living here, would be for the city residents to focus on, and be known for, courteous drivers.

While in New Brunswick a few years ago, my friend and I were standing on the sidewalk near the curb.  We were debating where to go next.  When I looked up I saw that traffic in both directions had stopped.  I looked at my friend with the question on my face and immediately spoken through my lips – wondering why the traffic had come to a sudden standstill.  She laughed and said “That’s what they do here.  They see us at the curb and are stopping to allow us to cross.”  And that was without us showing any obvious intention to cross.  Based on my life experience this was so extreme that I had to take notice.

Awareness is the key. When I returned to Windsor from my vacation I found myself allowing pedestrians the right of way in a way that is not always my norm.  As odd as it may seem, this makes ME feel better about myself.  I know I can do better, so I am concentrating on how courteous I can be, like in the adage, “Do unto others”.

Courtesy extended to a visitor is like saying “We appreciate you being here.  We would be happy for you to like us enough to come back”.

I am thinking that we can do that here, wondering what it would be like if our citizens got on the bandwagon and took this on, as a way of improving how others view us, changing how we do things, making us proud.

And it doesn’t cost a dime.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

M.O.M. 03.23.09 at 6:35 am

Well said. One other thing. After extending such a courtesy it actually feels good.

JessicaJak 05.10.09 at 7:35 pm

Good work! Thank you very much! I always wanted to write in my blog something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog? Of course, I will add backlink?

ArianaCisp 05.13.09 at 9:36 pm

beautiiful blog merciiiiii

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