If you’re of a certain age (ahem), you’ll remember kids yelling this before pushing their net and such to the side and let the car go by, before resuming their game. Chez-nous on criait “CHAR!” mais ça revient au même. Les enfants jouaient dans la rue, et les voitures passaient lentement, et personne ne s’en formalisait. Du moins, pas dans mon quartier.
This isn’t something you hear anymore. Kids don’t play on the street, unless they’ve asked for a permit temporarily to close it to car traffic. Which is perhaps the safest way to do it, but wow, not exactly impromptu, is it. And as we who have personally met a child know, kids aren’t always the best at thinking ahead…
With the result that streets today are almost entirely devoid of the sound of kids playing. That’s because kids don’t play outside like they used to; unstructured, unsupervised, just playing outside with friends without the need to have their parents organize a play date first.
That’s why I’m glad in Gatineau they’ll allow pilot projects, under certain clear conditions, to allow streets to become playgrounds once again. May this succeed and spread like wildfire.