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Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

Don't bring the bricks back

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Sarcasm De Jour

I am sure that both of my readers (you are reading them, right Mom and Dad?) are aware that downtown Sikeston is converting the nice, semi-smooth paved roads for the visually appealing, driving unfriendly bricks.

This is part of an effort to beautify downtown in hopes of drawing more people to visit the businesses that reside there.

I know what many of you are thinking: "If you want to get more people downtown then move Wal-Mart there." While I agree, there are probably a few thousand problems with that idea so we will let it pass and focus on the brick roads.

Many other cities, besides Sikeston, have been using brick to enhance historical ambience. In Orlando, Fla., five miles of asphalt streets in residential and commercial neighborhoods have been torn up to reveal the bricks underneath.

I am for anything that will help draw people to downtown Sikeston, however I began thinking that bricks were going to do the opposite. I mean they are rougher to drive on and are certainly noisier. In fact, I drive out of my way to avoid the brick roads and I'm not alone. In Orlando, returning streets to brick has cut traffic by 10 percent.

Of course, that was before a research group in Oregon found that walking on smooth, rounded cobblestones for just a half hour a day significantly lowers blood pressure. To someone like myself with high blood pressure this comes as music to my ears.

Here I have been trying to eat well, exercise and keep out of stressful situations when all I had to do was walk on brick for 30 minutes a day.

Anyway, I began to think ahead to a time when Sikeston's downtown streets are completely transformed back into brick. I can see myself walking with my wife down the brick streets, fighting through all the people (because that is what it supposed to help bring, right?) to go into store after store.

It will be good exercise too, because with each store my wife will invariably find something to buy and I will have to carry numerous bags. Of course, she will buy the heaviest item first so I will have to carry it the longest.

Then after loading up the car, I will pull out on the brick street where my teeth rattle and my CD in my CD player skips until I hit smooth road. Funny, I'm not really imagining my blood pressure going down.

Of course, then I return home and help my wife carry in the bags where I then see the receipts of the money we just spent. Then my blood pressure spikes, I have a heart attack and I'm in worse shape then when we began the day all because of the brick roads. I am guessing that researchers in Oregon may have made a mistake and that the real reason people had lower blood pressure was because of the 30 minutes of exercise and not the brick streets they were walking on. But then again, I'm not a scientist.



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