Jim Furlong: The Path of Resistance

My mom used to use the lovely expression “too foolish to talk about”. Sometimes in the middle of expressing opinions about what radio commentator John Nesbitt used to call “the passing parade” something jumps out at me that needs to be referenced as more than a difference of opinion.  Something that is “ too foolish to talk about”. 

‘… Old fuss bucket’

I actually love it when people disagree with something I have written. Everybody has a right, not just me. That is fine. A woman a few weeks ago referenced me as “a dried-up old fuss bucket”.  The subject was my disdain for Screech-ins. I respect that opinion. 

Now having said that I must reference a subject where I’m not nearly so eager to embrace somebody else’s right to a different position. You may remember I did that first with the idea of a proposed off leash dog proposal for the Three Pond barrens. I do it again today with those who object to a proposal that bicyclists might share the walking trails of St. John’s. There would be some trail paving involved in that. To me that seems like such a wonderful idea whose time has absolutely arrived. 

So many cities in Canada have a trail system that accommodates everybody. Yet in St. John’s there are those that raise the spectre of bicyclists running over hapless walkers.  To me that is a fear that is, as mom used to say, “too foolish to talk about”.  It’s a GREAT idea. 

Sharing is caring

I’m just back from a summer visit to Ottawa where they have a fabulous system of shared paved trails. You know what makes it so easy? They have a yellow line down the middle of the pavement in some areas. One side for walkers. One side for those on wheels. I walked several times on those trails. I shared them with kids going to school on bikes in the early morning. I shared them with moms pushing prams or walking their children. I shared them with  old geezers like myself out for a walk. 

Nobody ran anybody else over. There wasn’t chaos in the neighbourhood. My only problem was the problem of many walkers deep in thought and it is that there are too many people saying; Good Morning!  You kind of must respond to them all and it gets tiring. Yet, on the world scale of problems, that’s not much. 

You know I wonder now out loud at the thought processes of those complaining about  the possibility of  shared trails in St. John’s. Precisely what is it they would find acceptable? What would please them? Perhaps a second trail so that we have one for pedestrians and a second one next to it for those on bikes, skates or whatever. Now there’s an idea except for the problem of cost. How many hospital beds would you be prepared to give up or how many teaching positions would you eliminate so that walkers could have their own private trail? 

Sharing is a wonderful concept.

NTV’s Jim Furlong can be reached by emailing: [email protected]

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