Seems like the whole world walking pretty
And you can’t find the room to move
Well everybody better move over, that’s all
There’s a road over there on the north end of Downtown, or maybe on the south end of the Northside. Nobody very much goes there, unless they’re looking for some vintage clothes, or maybe some cheap hand-me-downs from Target. Unless your office is on this street, you poor souls walk this road every day.
On one of those walks I saw a machine running towards me. It was a truck like a mountain, piled high with teenagers looking bored. This machine was painting lines on the street, turning it from a dusty speedway into something a little more like home, something you can live on.
Except that at first the bike lanes were more like something you can park on. Then about a month after the painting truck came through, a crew came along to change the signs. It didn’t change much for one stubborn guy though, who still parks in front of his house every morning, even though there’s a place for him not in a bike lane just around the corner.
So now it seems the whole street’s biking pretty. But I still can’t find the room to walk. They even got little pictures of bikes on one section of pavement. Not 10 yards away, a busy crosswalk is just a worn spot on the pavement. No zebra. No stop line. This in the city whose policy is to always mark crosswalks at signalized intersections.
A few steps down, 10th Avenue gets between an office building and its parking lot. Each morning and night you can see people running across, hurrying even if they’d rather take it slow. Some of us like to dream about marked crossings even when there’s no light, but for now the city just says no.
Not long after that, the sidewalk ends. This end doesn’t whimper, it explodes with weeds as tall as trees and sand dunes that sweat you like the sahara.
Money comes up from Washington looking for people who move without motors, but it seems you still need a machine to get it. Out of millions of dollars, all but a few pennies went to bikes. The night is bright, but the sidewalk’s dark, and maybe one of these days the city’s gonna get the picture.