The Ideal Social Activity
Walking for me is the ideal social activity. If I’m going on a date, I’ll always take walking over grabbing coffee. If I’m catching up with my mom on the phone, I’ll walk. If I’m meeting with a friend, I’ll seek out a place that we can both walk to, together.
Every autumn, my family visits my brother and I in Boulder. Both of us are students at CU. Aside from enjoying restaurants, trails, CU’s campus, and Pearl Street, we also take long walks around town. We’ve continued this tradition for three years, and Mapleton Hill reigns as our favorite spot. Why do we return here? It goes without saying that there are beautiful homes on Mapleton, but it’s not the primary reason. Most importantly, there are sidewalks - buffered, tree-lined, shaded sidewalks. Even though they aren’t usually very wide (3 ft. maximum), our family walks shoulder to shoulder when the width permits it, and single file when it doesn’t. We walk in the shade, enjoy the tall trees shedding their leaves, and chit chat. We catch up.
My main commute is from my home via Colorado Ave. to CU’s main campus. I rarely walk to school unless I am walking with a friend. Why do I rarely walk? Colorado Ave. is noisy from car traffic; no buffer exists between the street and the pedestrian; and there are few trees shading the sidewalk. An addition as small as a landscaped buffer would encourage me to walk to school.
I do enjoy walking on the Boulder Creek path. It’s substitutable for a day out on OSMP lands if my schedule doesn’t allow for a hike. my essential daily dose of nature needed daily. I don’t typically walk at night, so the lack of lighting on the path doesn’t directly affect me. However, many of my friends who are girls avoid it because of that. Boulder performs higher than most US cities for walkability, but we have our work cut out for us. Adding more trees, sidewalk-street buffers, and adequate lighting is a good place to start.