Orlando without a car (entry 6): The dangers of walking at night

Orlando without a car is a Orlando Opinion series highlighting the ultra car dependent culture of Central Florida, and how a lack of action after decades is contributing to a poor quality of life for residents.

Last night, I was put in a position where I unfortunately had to walk home late. It was way after dark and there were no options.

This is often a forgotten and dangerous aspect of living in Orlando without a car.

You see, we’re already the worst community in the nation when it comes to pedestrian safety (story HERE).

But when you take daylight out of the mix, things get so much worse. Pedestrian traffic signals are taken completely out of the equation. They might as well not exist. And some areas of Orlando are very poorly lit. The only light from the roadsides are headlights from passing cars.

And there were also a few racers on my walk home, roaring down quiet neighborhood streets.

At least the weather was cooler. The sun that had been beating me up for the last 4 days wasn’t around.

But this is an important aspect of not having a car in Orlando. Time is already so precious and it’s taken up with walking, and with trying to jump buses and trains, that walking at home in the dark is just another part of the struggle.

And let’s not mention the winter, when it gets dark at 5:30. We have a lot of poorly paid tourism and hospitality workers that do this every single night.

Some other notes:

Still no job offers. I have had three interviews this week. Not having my own transportation was the setback in all of them. In two of them, the interviewer’s poker face failed them when they were given the news.

My body is actually getting beat up pretty good. The sun constantly glaring down on me makes me feel like a baked potato. I also think I have some sun poisoning and mild dehydration. I get the chills and shakes occasionally. I drink a gallon of water a day.

And finally, the entire process just makes you feel terrible about yourself. You start asking yourself all kinds of questions and begin to wonder what you did that made you deserve all of this. I’ve been really missing the military and I think about it a lot on my walks.

I don’t have anything else to say. Or any elaborate way to end this entry. I’ll publish again soon. Thank you.

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