This letter is to commend five public-minded Stillwater citizens — Gordon and Dorothy Johnson of Salem Lutheran Church, and Farshid Jahanshani, Doug Sander and Nelda Sander of the Progressive Interfaith Coalition — for taking part in PIC’s Walk For Fairness down South Main Street from 12th Avenue to 22nd Avenue and back Friday.

To fill in the background for those unfamiliar with it: the Walk For Fairness was an event planned to educate Stillwater residents (and possibly, or so we hoped, Stillwater City commissioners as well) about the difficulty of commuting from the Southern Heights Apartment complex and other residences at the far end of South Main Street for people who do not own automobiles.

Those who have cars, or who live closer to the existing bus routes in Stillwater, can scarcely appreciate what an ordeal it is to have to walk two miles in blazing summer heat just to get to the nearest bus stop. I was assured by all the participants in the Walk For Fairness that they came away at the end with a renewed sense of urgency about getting a bus route for that part of town, and that they would be vocal in their remonstrances to their City commissioners.

That being so, one goal of the Walk For Fairness was accomplished. I only wish that at least some of the City commissioners had taken PIC up on its invitation to them to participate in this event.

A Stillwater resident to whom I spoke after the end of the walk — he is someone who routinely travels around Stillwater by foot, and therefore had nothing new to learn by participating in the walk — asked me if any of the City commissioners had participated, and when I told him they hadn’t, he told me he took that as evidence that the City commissioners were simply uncaring and indifferent.

I myself would hesitate to reach the same conclusion, because I realize that some of the City commissioners might have had prior commitments when I issued the invitation. Perhaps they needed more lead time than the seven days since the invitation was issued. Therefore I would like to take this opportunity to issue a standing invitation to any or all of the City commissioners to take a walk down South Main Street with me any afternoon from now on. For the purpose of arranging this, I can always be reached at the OSU English department.

In closing, two points: (1) Having walked across the bridge at 19th and Main Street, I can now testify from firsthand experience that Mr. Allinson was right when he pointed out at the June 5 City Commission meeting that this narrow bridge is dangerous for pedestrians, and must be altered; and (2) at the June 5 City Commission meeting a promise was made to pursue the question of South Main Street bus service at the June 19 meeting, and I therefore encourage all concerned citizens to attend that meeting and renew the call for a new city bus route.

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