Monday, June 2, 2008

I HATE! Those Ignorant to Proper Sidewalk Etiquette

I was under the impression that there was an established code of sidewalk etiquette, but in recent months, it has come to my attention that either a) such a code must not exist and I have been mistaken for all of these years or b) a code exists, but no one abides by it / knows about it.

How many times have I been minding my own business, walking down the street, bopping my head in time with an (undoubtedly embarrassing) song playing on my iPod, taking in the city landscape, when all of a sudden, the person walking in front of me stops abruptly in his or her tracks, blocking the sidewalk, but even more importantly, obstructing my path and interrupting my walking rhythm? The answer? More times than I can count. (Most of the time, I come to find the offender to be a tourist, stopping to snap a picture of the oh-so-(not)-amazing Trump Hotel or Time Warner Center, but regardless...)

The point of my ramblings here is this: common courtesy (which i am clearly a huge proponent of) would dictate that if you are going to stop abruptly to take a photograph or tie your shoe or pick your wedgie or WHATEVER, move your fat ass to the side of the sidewalk - don't stand in the middle of pedestrian traffic, essentially asking for someone to trip over you. This is (or at least should be) the code of the street.

And here's another bullet point under The Sidewalk Etiquette Code: just like cars drive on the right side of the road, so too should pedestrians walk on the right side of the sidewalk. If you abide by this, it eliminates any chance of pedestrian collisions. And in my case (since apparently I like to bob and weave through sidewalk crowds), if every pedestrian followed the Code guidelines, I could easily navigate the sidewalks without having the urge to shove wayward pedestrians out of my way in order to keep up my pace.

Other more minor notes on the Code:
  • Don't drift from one side of the sidewalk to another - this prevents people who want to pass you from doing so.
  • Keep up your walking pace - don't slow down and speed up - this is essentially like asking someone to run into your back or step on your heels.
  • Don't ride your bike / skateboard / scooter / Segway on the sidewalk - I will throw a stick or rock into your tire.
  • If you're a slow-walker, stay to the very right side of the sidewalk - you should virtually be sliding your body along the side of the store fronts to ensure that the faster walkers have room to pass you.
  • Do not unintentionally / intentionally hit passing pedestrians with your shopping bags / briefcase / umbrella - this is grounds for an immediate punch in the face... seriously I CANNOT STAND IT WHEN SOMEONE HITS ME IN THE FACE WITH HIS UMBRELLA.
  • Do not jokingly mess around with your friends while walking on a crowded sidewalk - if I get bumped into by a rowdy teenager, I will push back with Incredible Hulk-like strength.
  • Do not come out of a store / house / apartment, step out onto the sidewalk without looking both ways, jut out in front of another pedestrian, and essentially cut them off - it works the same way as it does when you're in a car; cutting people off is dangerous and can incite road rage or, in my case, sidewalk rage.

And I'm sure there are more, I'm forgetting to mention right now, but essentially, these are the main points of the Code and should be abided by, by all, with meticulous attention. This will undoubtedly make the world a better place. Thank you.

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