Safety Has a Price
….and it’s not cheap.
Ever since I started my job in the city I’ve had to deal with terrible parking. Be it far away or expensive or in a shady area or a combination of those, I’ve never been happy. The center of the city is where all the professionals are; it’s really only a 5 or 6 block radius and then it makes a stark transition to lower-income areas. And these areas are just not safe, especially for young women. I’m not the only one who’s dealt with guys harassing me as I walk alone to my car. Black, latino or white they all look intimidating and act intimidating. On one street alone, a street I drive down to get to work and that is a mere few blocks from where I park, there has been a rash of violence. Muggings, fatal shootings, arson.
At the current lot I park in, it has the benefit of being fairly affordable at a mere $50 a month and right on the corner of a busy street filled with workers heading home. At least I feel relatively safe while in the parking lot. But walking to it is another story.
I have to deal with two issues: physical safety with crossing the street; and personal safety with the guys.
The physical safety issue is going to get worse this winter with the early sunset and then the crappy, slippery roads. There used to be a crossing guard but he went away when the company occupying the building at the crosswalk went away. Even though it’s state law that drivers must stop for people in the crosswalk, they don’t like to do it. I’ve had people honk at me because I walked through or just fly on by me within a few feet.
The personal safety is one that bothers me. While I don’t think that any of these young guys would actually *do* anything given that there’s always cars around, I’m still scared. Now, when I see a group coming down the sidewalk towards me, I feel fear. I wonder if I can cross the road before they get to me. The last straw came a few nights ago when I was first nearly hit by one car and then yelled at by another driver. 30 seconds later a trio of white tough guys dressed all gangster-like said a few obscene things but I didn’t make eye contact, I pretended that I didn’t hear them and felt it would be enough as I obviously had a pair of hot pink earbuds in. I guess they didn’t see that because their words then turned nasty and frightening and they started to follow me a little. I kept on going to my car and continued to pretend as though I didn’t hear.
And again as I think that I’m “safe” because the only secluded area during my walk is walking underneath a railroad track bridge where the lights are lacking, the trash is high and the cars can’t see you, it’s not like anybody would stop their car and get out if they saw me being attacked. I know they wouldn’t because some woman DID get attacked in this city a year ago, in a different area. By a homeless man, during lunch hour, he jumped her and beat her up. Not a single person tried to intervene.
So I made the decision in short order that I need to change my parking, at least for the winter months when it’ll be dark during my walk to the car and the roads shitty – I certainly don’t need to add a third slip-n-fall to my already bad back / herniated disc. So I’ll be parking in the garage that’s attached to my building but at a great monetary cost. Nearly 3 times the amount I’ve been paying to park in the open lot. My fee will increase from $50 a month to a very hard to swallow $130. I’ll be relying on my advertising and affiliate sales to help foot this bill.