Suburbs and walking or running

I often complain to whoever will listen about the fact that the suburb that I live in, and how it is severely lacking when it comes to walking. My suburb actually scores a 19 at http://www.walkscore.com/. That means that for anything you need to do, you better have a car to do it.

This lack of walkability is very apparent when you also try running in the winter. I went for a run Thursday afternoon, and discovered how poorly most of the sidewalks and shoulders of the roads had been cleared. Our suburb doesn’t send out the plows unless a snow has been over 2″ in depth, which means that the 0.5-1.0 inch snow that we got earlier today will never get cleaned up.

As a runner, who has to run on the shoulders of the road for most of my running, this is frustrating and exhausting. Much of the time, I’m running on uneven, mushy snow, occasionally jumping into the oncoming traffic lane when it’s clear to take advantage of the dry driving surface. It makes running more of a chore than enjoyment. Between watching where you place your feet, and watching for oncoming traffic, it’s mentally not restful.

Unfortunately, there is almost nothing to be done about this. There is simply no way that the city can retrofit itself to put in more bike/walk path, without infringing on people’s property lines. Yet another reason why I’m looking forward to moving from here at some point in the future.