On Foot

Since I have no wheels these days I either bum a ride with the only roommate who has a car or walk. I can’t borrow the roommate’s car – from past bad experience he doesn’t let anyone else drive it. So it’s walking for me.

I haven’t been brave enough to ride a bus yet. I haven’t had the urgent need to get anywhere when a ride has not been available. I do get the bus systems Twitter feed, and the Google transit maps are interesting. The Twitter feed is all about routes being late. When I might have to transfer to get anywhere, lateness is an issue. For what it is the bus system is overpriced. The elasticity of ridership was proved when the bus was free during the Superbowl festivities. Buses were full everywhere.

By almost any measure Indianapolis is not a very walkable city. I’m fortunate that I live in the South Village neighborhood, about two miles south of Downtown. It’s an area of cottages, light industry, used car lots, cemeteries, and downwardly-mobile people and institutions.One of my roommates and I walk to the Kmart all the time or go to the McDonalds for a change of pace. When I walk I have a place to go. 

During the Superbowl madness we walked Downtown, up Meridian Street, a 45 minute walk. In a car the detail and history of the city go past in a blur. On foot the detail and history became more evident. There were a number of brick cottages and one grand Queen Anne home, as well as a mix of commercial and industrial. I was disappointed to find that a church – formerly a synagogue – had been torn down.

It was fun for a week to see my city busy and alive. Everyone was on foot. I can’t tell you how pleased I was to see it.


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