The most polite town in America

Since moving to Bay Village four years ago, I have put in roughly four-thousand miles running the streets and sidewalks of this lovely town. I mention this only to establish myself as a bit of an authority on the subject matter for the following article. 

I love to run. I’ve been devoted to this sport for over twenty years. I run in all conditions, in all seasons, on all surfaces. My family and I are so blessed to live in a town one hundred percent covered in sidewalks. It makes a great environment for runners, walkers, bikers, mail carriers, school walkers, and general enjoyment of the outdoors. We all love our life on the lake.

Until winter comes… snowing, blowing, icing us in, chilling us to the bone. Still, I run. I see others running and walking – trying to continue habits of good health. There seems to be just one roadblock, so to speak. The sidewalks of so many homes and businesses are covered in ice and snow – never to see the light of day until spring. 

We can do better than this, my fellow Villagers! I am thankful as I run along, to all those who have donned boots and shovels, wool hats and snow blowers, to clear the way for pedestrians. I think of our mail and paper carriers and school children most, and feel thankful that they have a clear sidewalk for their journeys. Thank you for caring so much about others that you will sacrifice time from your busy day to clear your walks.

This leads me to the title of my article. I have a proposal. I propose that Bay Village establish itself as “The Most Polite Town in America.” We can start by making sure that each and every inch of our miles of sidewalks are cleared during the winter. It’s a tough time of year for us all. 

We can make it a little nicer, a little easier by showing each other the kindness and care of a clear path. It takes only a few minutes to clear most of our sidewalks. If you have children, they love to help with this. If you have elderly neighbors, adopt their sidewalks as your own for the winter. Such a small gesture will make such a huge difference for us all. 

You may not ever walk the sidewalks of Bay Village, so may not realize how much this would mean to those of us who do on a daily basis. Our mail carriers will be safer, our children will arrive at school warmer, and runners and walkers will be so grateful for your thoughtfulness. 

Last October, I attended the celebrations surrounding the 200th anniversary of Bay Village. I witnessed in person the camaraderie of a village coming together. Everyone was so... well, neighborly and polite. I feel confident that the spirit of that night can find its way into our warm homes this winter and nudge us to get outdoors, for just a short time at least, and clear the path for the long winter’s night.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 5:59 PM, 02.04.2011