It’s been 60 years since Ray Bradbury wrote The Pedestrian, a cautionary tale that predicted the end of people walking. Fortunately, people are still alive and well and walking in Mar Vista. With its mild climate, hilly and flat terrain, ocean views, vintage and modern architecture and eco-friendly sustainable gardens, it's easy to enjoy walking in this neighborhood and get fit at the same time.
You also help contribute to the betterment of the planet when you walk rather than drive. You reduce your carbon footprint, save money on gasoline and avoid the stress of sitting in gridlock. If you’ve ever been on Palms Boulevard at rush hour you'll know what I mean.
Why not start walking today? Make a personal pledge to walk rather than drive to an errand or activity each week. With a bit of advance planning, you can get everything you need without getting in your car. Try walking to the Mar Vista Farmers' Market for fresh produce, or to for those last minute recipe ingredients. Lace up your shoes and head to on Venice Boulevard for nuts, bolts and other DIY needs.
If you have a flexible schedule, walk to a friend’s house for coffee and a chat. If you're a parent, walk your children to school and you'll plant the seeds for a lifetime of healthy habits including teaching street safety and instilling your children with a sense of independence as they learn to confidently navigate their way around the neighborhood.
Don’t underestimate the power of setting an example to others. Unlike less visible forms of “green living” such as recycling or eating lower on the food chain, by doing errands on foot you can serve as a beacon of car-free living to other Mar Vistans. On a typical Sunday it's not uncommon to see dozens of shoppers filtering into residential areas on their return from the Mar Vista Farmers' Market. The carrot tops dangling from their reusable cloth produce bags send a clear and inspiring message: 'I am walking home from the market!'
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. Why not fulfill at least one day’s worth of exercise by walking? It's the best multitasking you’ll ever do.
While there are some errands that do require the use of a car—I don’t suggest you carry a 40-pound bag of dog food home from or —there are plenty of other tasks you can accomplish without four wheels. It took me and my dog Mini 15 minutes to walk to the bank, less than a mile from my home. I used that time to come up with the idea for this article.