Language of Choice: Pedestrian

I am a pedestrian and identify as one and there is no reason anyone needs to monitor or correct me on that language choice. I also identify strongly as a passionate and practical walker who deeply values being able to choose that mode on a daily and ongoing basis to move around the community I live in.

I grew up with a car-dominant lifestyle and in a car-centric community and find great joy as well as deep practicality in being able to live a walkable lifestyle now. In an era when so many people cannot even safely choose walking or cycling as their mode to get around, I find it absurd when people want to patrol people’s choice to identify as ‘pedestrians’.

I understand that some people and organizations are of the mindset that language that associates people with a mobility mode divides people and they do not want to promote that. That’s fine if that’s your modus operandi but does not necessitate ‘correcting’ people who choose to identify as pedestrians or walkers or bicyclists.

I also find it mind-boggling how unaware many people working with or passionate about sustainable mobility seem to be that there are many people who are indeed very attached to driving, very attached to car culture and with little to no interest whatsoever in walkability.

At Pedestrian Space (confirmed as an NGO last month!) I in fact want to contribute to awareness building on the very basics of what walkability is & why it is important as many people don’t know and really don’t care. Shifting the mobility paradigm also will involve inspiring people to actually give a damn.

Greetings from the Path.