I saw a few more “Ped-Peeves” that I wanted to write about.
Ped-Peeve #07 – The oblivious.
I feel that sidewalks are primarily designed for walking; it seems like a basic concept. That said, if you’re in a group and you need to make a decision like review a map or where to eat next, stand off to the side of the sidewalk or “pull over” just like you would if you were driving a car. I feel silly even saying this but so often I see groups just stop in the middle of a sidewalk blocking pedestrian flow only to have a lengthy debate on which café to go to, Rain Forest of Hard Rock. I acknowledge that this is one of my more whiny complaints but it such an inconsiderate act. Most sidewalks aren’t that wide, so try to be a little more courteous and move!
Ped-Peeve #08 – Walking tunnel vision.
This is one of the most annoying situations I encounter on the sidewalk. Texting or playing a game on your phone is no excuse to be a complete zombie. It’s amazing how many pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars have had to maneuver around someone because they couldn’t be bothered to lift their head and take in their surroundings. People even cross intersections with their face buried in their phone! It’s basic walking 101, when did we stop looking both ways?
All that said, as annoying as the head-down scenario is, walking tunnel vision is one of the more entertaining situations to battle. I encourage you to try the “Stop, Plant and Crash” method. It is a little childish/petty I know, but it is also a scenario that shouldn’t happen to begin with. The expressions I have seen on people’s faces as they either crash into me or snap out of their zombie-like state at the last second is priceless. I would say more than half the time people are completely surprised there even is a person in front of them, as if they were the only one on the sidewalk and like a commuting ninja I appeared out of nowhere. Keep your head up people, we’re all walkin’ here!
Ped-Peeve #09 – Crowd bowling.
Just like vehicles are required to “stack up” before an intersection, before the crosswalk line, pedestrians should “stack up” before the sidewalk intersection. Pedestrians try to get as close to the intersection corner as possible, even though they will just be waiting for their walk signal to change. This creates impenetrable crowds that block the through traffic for the pedestrians that actually have the walk signal.
I am not saying we should paint “stop lines” on sidewalks but pedestrians should be able to anticipate how everyone is moving through an intersection and wait further back from the intersection corner until it is their walk signal. Or maybe it would be easier to paint some “stop lines”.<!–