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Pavements are not for walking

Updated on August 3, 2016

Perhaps because it is a society still in the process of development. In Jordan most people leave the pavements and walk on roads. It's quite a glaring phenomenon. You can see it in a lot of cases, people leaving the pavements and walking on roads, as if afraid they are going to spoil the ambiance of the spaces that are supposedly there for them.

In all fairness, and this has to be said people don't walk on the streets all the time, otherwise there might be an increasing number of accidents what with cars zooming from all directions.

In the downtown Amman for instance, people do stick to the pavements in fear of road hogs, and fast-movers and shakers in their colourful machines. But in neighborhoods and in a lot of side streets, people have long said goodbye to pavements and have got into the habit of walking on roads and cracked asphalt.

It has become part of the values and culture of society over the years. No one really thinks it is unusual to be adopting such habits, walking on roads that are clearly not marked for pedestrians—mind you, I think there should be signs every 200 yards that state "Dear citizens roads are for cars, let them pass please".

But maybe we shouldn't put all the blame on pedestrians. In this small vicinity of the world, pavements on the whole, are a relatively new concept, particularly in the more recent districts of the capital.

Were they exist, they are a foot high, and congested with different kind of trees, the favorite being olive trees. I asked one acquaintance why the pavements are so long and he came up with a theory.

He said they are made in this way to be able to accommodate the coating of asphalt that are periodically slapped on these roads. But I really could not understand the logic of this since in all the years in my neighborhood I never so much as seen a new asphalt coating. I've seen cracks in roads, dilapidation, occasional digging that would be papered over, but I never seen complete coatings. Maybe, they took place, whilst I wasn't looking, or I may have been abroad at the time, but I just can't remember.

I am not being difficult here, but I think it’s a bit of a chore and a struggle to lift one leg, or one foot on these pavements and have another tough job to get your other limb. One old lady I personally knew broke her leg trying to put one leg over.

And once, you are up there, the pavement I mean, its oh no, there is another obstacle, a tree, with overflowing branches. So you have to get down again, sorry step down, walk a few yards, and then back up again on the pavement. But wait a minute, there is another olive tree sprouting.

Oh no, can I squeeze around it, be careful, ops, ops, ops, nearly fell down. It's really much better and easier to walk on the roads. At least, there its straight walk, that is if there are no cars parked next to the side of the roads, and if there it's tough, because you practically end up walking in the middle of the roads.


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    • SilentReed profile image

      SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines

      I can relate with your friend's theory. Although concrete cement have replace asphalt for road construction, there are still pave asphalt roads here. Because they are thinly pave the rains usually leave potholes so they have to be overlaid again with a new coat of asphalt. They are a source of corruption in the public works.