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Having grown up in Central Florida, I am no stranger to dangerous walking conditions. However, when I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, I quickly realized that it’s not easy to travel on foot, no matter where you are in the world. But what makes it so much more dangerous here than in one of the busiest cities in Europe? That was the question on my mind when I participated in my first Operation Best Foot Forward with Bike/Walk Central Florida.
Now I know that making a comparison between Spain’s center of commerce and our metropolitan hometown is a bit of a stretch, but let me break it down for you.
I’m not saying Europe is perfect – they operate differently than what Americans have grown accustomed to. Europe built its cities around the most basic function that humans have: walking. They don’t incorporate functionality into the designs, they seem to build designs around the functionality.
Getting the opportunity to participate in Operation Best Foot Forward opened my eyes to the importance of functional systems even more than my experience in Madrid. It reminded me how far we’ve come, but how far we still have to go to create safer, walk-able streets that accommodate more than just drivers.
-Day Communications/ BWCF Intern, Jocelyn Nance