b'THEUNLIKELYPEDESTRIANIwas born in Anchorage and have lived here most of my life.I love my community, my city and my state.I grew up on the west side of Anchorage in the 1970s, and as the trail systems and commuter routes expanded, so did my use of them. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail was a game-changer for me as a young man.I now live downtown, by Westchester Lagoon, which is a short walk to just about anything I need on a day-to-day basis. I always wear a back-pack and when I get groceries, I use two clothBy CB BRADYbags. Between the three I can carry a surprising amount. Im a walker. My phone tells me I average around nine miles a day. I also use People Mov-er public transportation when distance dictates and I get many rides from my friends and family. Whenwalkingisyourmainformoftranspor-tation, the entire world slows down immense-ly. And when life slows down, theres so much to see, smell and enjoy. The more you walk, the more you recognize others doing the same. Ive seen the same elderly couples, families, bikers, runners and sometimes the disabled out walking.So why dont I drive? I wish I could but no lon-ger can due to a hereditary degenerative eye dis-ease called Retinitis Pigmentosa, commonly re-ferred to as RP.RP has robbed me of night vision and has stolen my visual field. A normal human eye has close to 170 degrees of visual field; Im down to about 12 degrees. With contacts, I have 20/20 acuity but otherwise Im looking through a tunnel roughly the size of a quarter.Obviously, this is not something I ever imag-ined, yet most days I find myself feeling fortu-nate. But walking, and more specifically not driv-ing, can be the most frustrating feelings I harbor. This is followed by the need to ask for rides to get to places that public transportation doesnt cover. My driver network is extensive and my drivers will never understand how thankful I am for their help. Occasionally I choose not to ask and force myself to walk a longer distance. Most in my network think thats ridiculous, but some- CB BRADY is the Executive Director of the Alaska Center times I dont want to be a burden. for the Blind and Visually Impaired.18 |UrbanStreets Anchorage'