I’ve noticed it’s common for young women in Chicago to walk in the middle of the street when there are sidewalks available. I always assumed that it’s a strategy to avoid getting jumped by a would-be attacker hiding behind a tree or in the bushes. This personal safety issue is one that I, as a man who does most of his walking in areas with relatively low crime rates, have the privilege of not thinking much about.
On the other hand, I often see women walking in the street in “safe” neighborhoods, in broad daylight. This was the case last Sunday when I biked past Jacqueline and Caitlin, who were strolling west on the 2100 bock of West Rice Street in Ukrainian Village around 4 pm. I hit the brakes and asked if I could interview them on the subject for this blog, and they politely humored me.