Walking in Red Deer can be hazardous to your health

In May of 2007 I had a heart attack. As part of my continuing cardiac rehabilitation, I walk to work in the downtown core every day from my home in Fairview.

In May of 2007 I had a heart attack. As part of my continuing cardiac rehabilitation, I walk to work in the downtown core every day from my home in Fairview.

I find it ironic that the activity I do to maintain and improve my health is also one that significantly increases the chances of my sudden demise.

I am a good pedestrian. I do not go looking for trouble.

I do not jaywalk.

I use the crosswalks and cross only on the green light at intersections.

In spite of this, at least three times a week, I am forced to jump out of the way of careless, distracted or just plain mean-spirited drivers.

This morning (Sept. 22), I had to jump out of the way of a silver car as it sped though the marked crosswalk at Kerry Wood Drive and Fir Street (yes lady, you know who you are!).

It is even more amazing to me that most of these drivers show no embarrassment or sign of apology for their behaviour. In fact, I am routinely cursed at, threatened and, last spring, a driver actually spit at me.

And this does not even begin to address the horrible behaviour of many cyclists, rollerbladers and skateboarders who seem to think they own the sidewalks.

I sincerely appreciate the majority of you who take the extra 10 seconds on your way to work or home to slow down and let me cross the street.

To the rest of you, I wonder how you’re going to justify your impatience and obvious lack of concern for others when you hit me or, perhaps a child, who wants little more than to get to work and home safely.

Mike Machuk

Red Deer