1. We’re modeling healthy living for our kids. In an era where waistlines are ever expanding and 29 million Americans are afflicted by diabetes, we want to socialize small choices our kids can make to stay fit.
2. We’re getting ourselves and our kids out into the Palma Ceia community. By walking to school, we have regular encounters with our neighbors, with other parents, and with the environment around the school. Real relationships blossom, mutual accountability increases, and the neighborhood becomes that much more resilient in the face of personal or environmental challenges.
3. In collaboration with the Palma Ceia Neighborhood Association, we are working to actualize the property value and appeal of the neighborhood with which we each fell in love. Do you remember why you settled in South Tampa: easy pedestrian access to cafes and restaurants, modest levels of traffic, the flashback to a Norman Rockwell era where kids were playing on canopy-covered streets and parents lounged in their front porches? Palma Ceia very much can be that place; we just need to embrace the opportunity we have to make it so.
4. We’re working to increase sensitivity to, and accountability for the (preventable!) hazards that walkers face on daily basis. Even one child hit by a car en route to or from school is too many. When a larger part of the Roosevelt community encounters these hazards - car line cars parked in the crosswalk, insufficient yielding to pedestrians on Bay to Bay and Himes, absence of crossing guards to steward students to the other side of the street - we’ll have the critical mass and political will to push for better walking infrastructure. We’ll also be more thoughtful when we’re the ones behind the wheel.
All photos courtesy of Palma Ceia Sidewalk Stompers.