Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Demanding the Right to Walk

Here in the US we tend to think of walking as a sustainable, healthy form of transportation. But is it also one of our fundamental human rights? The pedestrian advocacy group The Right to Walk Foundation in Hyderabad, India believes so. The group recently filed a petition with the State Human Right Commissioner alleging that city officials' refusal to address walkability concerns in Hyderabad constitutes aviolation of citizens' fundamental rights to education, work, an adequate standard of living, and freedom of movement and residence.

The petition calls for six changes to pedestrian policy in Hyderabad, such as the implementation of manned pedestrian crossings, clear demarcation of sidewalks and a "no encroachment" policy, and the requirement that all government employees travel to work using non-motorized or public transportation at least one day a week.

I especially like that last suggestion--but I think it ought to be extended to politicians as well.

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