The rain brings out the worst in pedestrian traffic. Several of my co-workers arrived at the office yesterday, ranting about the poor etiquette in Midtown. I, luckily, got in early enough to miss the downpour and subsequent bad manners.
So today I present the pedestrian manual with my own tips and those agreed upon at the office yesterday. First things first, think of the sidewalk like a road. Apply many of the same rules.
1.Keep to the right. If everyone would do this, traffic would flow. Cars can’t just drive on whatever side they choose.
2.If you need to stop to consult a map or peek into a cafe window, pull over first! You wouldn’t just stop in the middle of the street.
3.Don’t walk three or four across. Again, cars can’t just drive on the left side of the road to be by their friends. You’re gonna have to go 2×2.
4.When approaching an intersection, allow those with the walk signal to make their light. If they have the go to cross the avenue and you’re facing a stop signal in your attempt to cross the street, give them the right away.
5.In inclement weather, be careful with your umbrellas. The sidewalks really aren’t wide enough for huge umbrellas to pass seamlessly. If I could redesign the streets of New York, I would make the sidewalks twice as wide, but I don’t have that authority. So, mindfully tip your umbrella. Watch out for shorter people and don’t drip on them. Don’t gouge people in the eyes. If someone doesn’t have an umbrella, get out of their way and let them walk under the overhangs to stay dry. Someday you’ll find yourself without an umbrella in your bag, too.
6.Be alert and don’t walk at a diagonal. You’re annoying everyone behind you when you do that. Pay attention.
7.When waiting in line for theater tickets or at the bagel cart, pull off to the side and let people pass. Again, cars at the drive-through espresso huts don’t just stop in the middle of the street. They pull off on the shoulder.