As winter sets in, fitness enthusiasts eager to stay in shape are making the best of the dip in mercury. Walkers are a common sight on beaches, parks and pedestrian ways alike. Experts encourage exercising, but advise doing so with care, obeying the rules and regulations to maintain road safety.
“Pedestrians must use walkways. In case there are no constructed walkways, they must walk on the side of the road against the direction of oncoming vehicles,” an ROP official said.
The official said that since walking is a popular health activity, there is need to know the rules for pedestrian safety. “People need to observe traffic safety rules and additional guidelines to stay safe,” the official said.
Even though walking is common even in summers, there is a significant increase in the number of walkers seen outdoors during winters. “I notice a great many more walkers in this season. In fact, I increase the distance and frequency of my walks because the weather is good. I prefer to walk on the walkways constructed by the municipality for safety reasons,” said Abdullah al Khaldi, an avid walker.
There are others who take the opportunity to walk to work during the cooler months if they live within walkable distance. “I prefer to walk to work in the winters because office is a half-hour walk from home. We have to take advantage of the cool weather. The only challenge is the traffic and keeping clear of speeding vehicles,” said Hamdoon al Farsi, who works and lives in Ghubra.
In order to promote walking safely in the proper place, Muscat Municipality has in the past intensified efforts to improve the quality of its services by providing or expanding walkways in public gardens and residential neighbourhoods.
“Muscat Municipality promotes walking for health and has laid out many walking paths in the city. There are good walkways in Seeb, Muscat city and Amerat which are designed to keep pedestrians safe from vehicles on the roads,” a Muscat Municipality official said.
The municipality’s efforts haven’t been in vain. Walkers have taken note and are grateful. “There is no excuse for us not to walk. Everywhere you go in Muscat, there are nice walkways. I thank the municipality for this work they are doing for the public,” said Amerat resident Amour al Tauqi, who can be seen most winter evenings walking in the Long Park.
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