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Walkers Treading on Thin Ice


A daily walk is the most accessible physical and mental fitness activity I have ever found. It's free, self-paced, and doesn't require fancy gear. You can walk alone or with others, as long as there's daylight, in most Lawrence neighborhoods.

But the recent blizzard has turned our fairly walkable city into an obstacle course for pedestrians. I'm not complaining about city snow removal. On the contrary, I think those guys are doing a great job, all things considered. I also know many homeowners are trying valiantly to clear their sidewalks.

Still, I'm finding it hard to get my daily walking fix safely. Which makes me wonder if other fitness walkers are having the same problem. Where do you walk when ice and snow make your usual route hazardous? If you have a favorite safe route, indoors or out, please share.

P.S. Treadmills and gyms are great if you can afford them, but I'm really looking for something free and accessible to all local walkers.


budwhysir 8 years, 5 months ago

Yep we arent complaining just saying, if the city spent more time giving out tickets to all these low life tax payers for not shoveling the sidewalk, I could have more areas to walk on besides walking in the middle of these unplowed streets we live on.

Phil Minkin 8 years, 5 months ago

I take two 1 hour walks 5 days/ week. Early mornings(6:30 or 7ish) I walk downtown. There are other walkers and runners at that time. My second varies between Oread and OWL, Yesterday and today I did both walks downtown with few problem. I can't go as fast so I added distance. I may try the streets of Oread tomorrow.

beeline 8 years, 5 months ago

Allen Fieldhouse 6am to 5pm, I think. It's always been a special place.

budwhysir 8 years, 5 months ago

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Marilyn Hull 8 years, 5 months ago

Foodboy: Thanks for the ideas. Are there specific streets in Oread or OWL that are most walkable?

Beeline: Do you know for sure if Allen is open? I used to go there but heard a rumor it is no longer open to walkers.

hail2oldku 8 years, 5 months ago

AFH is supposed to be available again after the first of the year (at least that's the scuttlebutt.) As for an indoor place to walk, SuperTarget draws a regular crowd. Check at the pharmacy, they've got info on just how many laps of what sections will get you the distance that you want to go.

nut_case 8 years, 5 months ago

So on the one hand we have people just begging to get out in the cold for exercise and on the other we have streets and sidewalks which need to be cleared of snow? Any chance of getting the exercisers to do meaningful work and clear the snow?

corey872 8 years, 5 months ago

Doubtful Nut - reminds me of the time my wife said she was going for a walk. I brought up the possibility of holding the lawn mower in front of her and going back-and-forth across the yard during the 'walk'. That didn't fly too well.

The definition of exercise seems to be 'movement without producing any useful output' The moment you do something useful, it's called 'work' - and we have machines for that.

Phil Minkin 8 years, 5 months ago

Marilyn_Hull (Marilyn Hull) says…

Foodboy: Thanks for the ideas. Are there specific streets in Oread or OWL that are most walkable?

I'll find out tomorrow, but generally try to avoid brick streets.

ashmole 8 years, 5 months ago

Actually, the city's job of removing the snow from the streets was terrible. And the decision not to enforce the snow removal ordinance for sidewalks is an insult to all of us, especially pedestrians who depend on clear rights of way and homeowners to went to the trouble of shoveling (sometime twice or three times over the course of this storm). So, kudos to the city workers manning the plows and the individuals who did their civic duties in show clearing; failing marks to the city administrators and commission members who have been shirking their duties.

Bill Lee 8 years, 5 months ago

I walk up and down the aisles at Dillons. People think i'm shopping, which I do before I leave the store, but I get my exercise in first, and my legs won't let me speed walk anymore so this works out very well.

Paul Decelles 8 years, 5 months ago

If you want a good outdoors walk try Prairie Park in East Lawrence. Most of the paths are pretty clear all the way to Mary's Lake and it's much nicer than the Field House or Dillons.

lily 8 years, 5 months ago

Don't walk on campus. Sidewalks aren't clear and neither are the parking lots.

Richard Payton 8 years, 5 months ago

Walkers beware of the yellow phog in Lawrence!

fancy80 8 years, 5 months ago

Try the parking garage across by the union on campus. Except for the top level, it is covered. Snow shouldn't be an issue and the incline is good for your behind.

hail2oldku 8 years, 5 months ago

In case you weren't paying attention Jack, she was asking for alternatives since the sidewalks and streets are currently hazardous to one's health.

Of course if she wanted to do some cross country skiing she could get a great cardio workout in any of the city parks or walking trails.

Marilyn Hull 8 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for all of the location ideas so far. Keep them coming!

I love the idea of shoveling your neighbor's sidewalk as a way to get some exercise.

On driving to a place to walk -- it's not ideal from an environmental standpoint, but is better for my health and waistline than not walking at all.

igby 8 years, 5 months ago

Walked in the street down to South park, there, the sidewalks are cleared except for a few slick spots. Shoveled snow on Christmas day and the next day too. They are glazed over again with melt from the high banks melting in the day and freezing again at night. The snow's melting and shrinking each day and if we get another storm soon, it will be a mess on top of this harder crust under it.

equalaccessprivacy 8 years, 5 months ago

I always tremendously enjoyed walking until I moved to Lawrence. The terrain is obviously not the best here and city-planning efforts seem questionable, but the main problem is busybodies intent on nosing up offensively and personally into the business of complete strangers. Suckers! Appearance is not reality, and you should mind your own business and quit messing with capable people just exhibiting their normal characteristics. Stop interfering with other people's sense of safety and comfort. Your ignorance is frightening.

Jock Navels 8 years, 5 months ago

  1. Don't drive someplace to walk.
  2. If the way is not clear to walk, shovel.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 5 months ago

do not walk your dog in the street!
salt very hard on dog paws, wash them off when you get somewhere if they've been exposed to that salt.
ice and sand also very bad painful for dog paws.

if your walking a dog, choices quite limited right now.

as to driving to a place to walk, don't sweat it: Greenism has turned into a new religion, see my blog. you're much better to go and get that walk, because "carbon footprint" is now discredited, manmade global warming relied on bad data and coverup. temps haven't increased for a decade.

BlackVelvet 8 years, 5 months ago

I walk at Target with the other old folks. But the parking garage(s) is a good idea as well.

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