Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mr. Walker vs. Mr. Wheeler

You know how, when you're walking, drivers are all inconsiderate jerks, and when you're driving, pedestrians are slow, annoying obstacles?

Certainly Disney's Goofy has some experience with this: Goofy in Motor Mania!

Putting ourselves in other people's shoes is one of the trickiest, and frequently, most easily overlooked elements of sharing space with others. When I'm on a crowded sidewalk, everyone around me is walking too slowly and seems totally oblivious to how they're blocking the sidewalk. When I'm standing talking to friends, I'm annoyed at the person brushing by me in a hurry.

In fact, switching modes makes us better at all of the modes we use. By changing our perspective on the road, we can become more aware of all the elements of the travel environment and the factors that are most prominent to each. When I'm on a bike, I'm acutely attuned to how closely cars pass me, so, now, when I'm in a car, I give cyclists more space, for example.

Do you use multiple modes on a regular basis? Has it made you better at moving around in the urban environment?

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