Stories on the Move by Foot
by Erica Stratton
With all the novel ways of getting around we’ve chronicled in the past few weeks, it’s sometimes easy to forget one of the most accessible forms of transportation: our feet.
Michael Johnson has a car, but he had to drop it off at the shop for repairs. With his iPod’s music as accompaniment, he sauntered down the sidewalk on West Street, which is specially designated for walking (redundant, perhaps, but it has signs telling you so). He was trekking into downtown Annapolis to get “the sidewalk side look” and maybe get something to eat.
Johnson describes Annapolis as a very good city for pedestrians. “Usually it’s a nice walk,” he says. “They have everything tight-knit and close. There’s never anything too far away.” He feels safe walking the streets, and “cars are nicer to me here than they are in D.C. You can’t expect cars to stop for you in D.C. like they do here.”
Johnson didn’t need any special gear to get around Annapolis. He was wearing an average pair of New Balance sneakers. Besides ease, walking has benefits in the feeling of virtue that it can impart. It “feels healthy,” says Johnson, and walking downtown is “my excuse not to run today.”