© 2021 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Arts / Culture

Giving Up Your Car and Walking: A Reporter's Week on His Feet


It's hard to believe, but it was only about 100 years ago that we stopped walking everywhere and started using other means of transportation.

Now, you may take a walk around the block a couple of times for some exercise, but when was the last time you walked to the store, or to work?

Well, for seven days in July, Tampa Bay Times reporter Ben Montgomery went walking -- everywhere.

Montgomery walked  to work and back and everything in between -- including a little jaunt from Tampa to St. Petersburg -- and back.  That  stroll took him 14 hours.

What did Montgomery learn from his week on his feet and not the wheels of his car?

"We're missing out -- in a big way -- on connecting with our own communities. I probably met, in the course of seven days, not an exaggeration, I  met 15 strangers... people that I bumped into out on a walk or other pedestrians... that sort of thing. And that's not going to happen if you're in a car.
I saw things in my own city that I never would have seen from a car... beautiful ornate cemetaries, interesting street art and graffiti so, you know,  if we trap ourselves in a car we have the potential to miss some of the cool things... some of those back alleys that we wouldn't otherwise see."

Montgomery says he has no plans to bronze the shoes he wore during his walking week.

He says that's because he used several pairs trying to find the most comfortable pair for walking.


WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.