End the duopoly

What a walk sign and COVID-19 teach us about equality

I recently had an experience that started me thinking about what it means to be equal in our society.

There is an auditory walk signal at the intersection of Broadway and Skyline. “Wow,” I exclaimed, “this is great.” Todd Devries As a blind person, the way I cross at lighted intersections is to wait for cars in the closest lane to pass the half-way point.

Wide streets and left-hand-turning vehicles are confusing. An auditory signal provides some confidence that no turn arrows are active when I run the gauntlet of a busy intersection.

Yet, as I walk our city, I feel as if I am a second-class citizen. Broken pavements, low-hanging trees, people parking across sidewalks or pulling out without looking both ways require caution.

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A disparity exists between those who blithely speed down roads, unaware of what happens outside their immediate view and pedestrians. Sometimes a stranger asks whether I need a ride.

While this kindness is appreciated, it does not address the underlying inequality that exists between pedestrians and drivers. The gift of a ride is transitory, unreliable and sometimes offered out of pity or obligation.

The auditory signal is always there, and it can be depended upon […]

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