Recently in Colorado we had two troubling incidents. In one a woman was walking along a rural highway and got run over and killed. In another, a CU engineering student was walking home from a light rail station south of Denver and was killed by a random shooter who remains at large. In both cases, the victim reportedly loved to walk.
I love to walk too. I’ve walked all over the place day and night in various places like Istanbul, Berlin, Cairo and New York City. About a month ago I went out to happy hour near the Bluebird. I parked a few blocks further away than I needed to because I wanted to walk through my old neighborhood. On the way back to my car, I was mugged for the first time in my life. In my home town of Denver, Colorado!
Three guys had been lurking in the middle of the block but I did not see them until I was in the midst of them. They ordered me to the ground while they rifled through my pockets. Two were doing the “I have a gun in my pocket” thing with their sweatshirts. In the end, only my pride was hurt but I was pissed. Not to mention what a huge pain in the ass it was to deal with a stolen wallet and cell phone.
Can’t we walk anywhere anymore? Do I have to drive door to door everywhere I go now? It sucks. We need to walk more, not less. Maybe if there were MORE people out walking we wouldn’t have as many incidents as the above. That’s probably why I was relatively safer in NYC — there were always so many people around.
It does not help that everybody drives their kids to school now. Get your kids walking and walk yourself. Take baby steps. This Christmas season, park at the far end of the mall and WALK.