Where I am from, walking is weird. Indeed perambulation is held in suspicion, or seen as a sign of intolerable eccentricity, even though in my hood, there are million dollar sidewalks and paved bike paths. If you walk along the roads, there is palpable angst; the hostility of self-importance permeates the single-occupant cars as they wiz past, annoyed that a stray pedestrian dares share the street. Yet I see so much natural beauty and unexpected aesthetics as I stubbornly de-board the bus to walk to my next stop or destination, often miles away.
Oh yes, taking the public bus is also out there, in a culture of cars-only, in a place that refused public transportation infrastructure such as a train line from the airport to the city, or light-rail from center city to suburbs. The dearth of transportation options in the Motor City is both pronounced and restrictive. It continues class warfare, completes isolation, and causes accidents, traffic jams, and complaints. Other U.S. cities, such as Chicago, have cars as well as buses and trains. People have options. In Detroit, where there are few locomotion modes, walking means something is wrong.
Indeed, walking is neigh on unlawful. I have now been stopped twice by the nice folks with the Bloomfield Township Police; yes, on two different occasions, a was stopped by a police officer (in a police cruiser) because I was walking. . . in the winter. . . on Lone Pine and on Telegraph Road.
On one particular occasion, the Blmfld. Twp. police officer was responding to a 911 (?) call from a motorist on the northbound side of the five lanes of Telegraph who called to say that a person walking on the far right shoulder of road was somehow an emergency. The officer was very professional, polite, and after he talked talked to me and took my i.d. info, allowed me to continue my walk from the Library to the Kroger. So, apparently it’s not illegal to walk on Telegraph in Oakland County, just eccentric.