sidewalk etiquette 101

I have a confession to make. While I appreciate the ease and efficiency of the subway, I hate the subway (but if I had to pick a favorite line it’d be the new Q). I do anything and everything I can to avoid the subway and that includes walking the 40 blocks to/from work. I’m entering my 3rd year of this commute and I have to complain about the basic sidewalk etiquette that this city (or at least the east side) lacks.

  1. Don’t keep your eyes glued to your phone while you walk. Try looking up to see where you’re going.
  2. Save holding hands for the indoors.
  3. Scooters should have limited use…aka use the bike lanes.
  4. Bikes should remain in the bike lane (you know, the one on the road).
  5. Pushing your stroller while talking to your friend who is also pushing his/her stroller while parallel to you is a no-no.
  6. Don’t hover near the entrance to a store, go in or go out- just keep moving.
  7. It is possible to enter the sidewalk via a curb instead of the incline (seriously, why do people push toward that if they aren’t using a stroller or wheelchair, it’s one step).
  8. Do not use golf umbrellas if it’s not raining, if you’re shorter than 5’8, or if your friend you are with is also carrying an umbrella.
  9. Use a shorter leash for your dog in crowded areas.
  10. If you’re going to try and get past someone make sure you actually go faster than them.
  11. Make sure your arm swing doesn’t block the entire sidewalk when you walk.
  12.  If you need to stop for some reason it’s best if you stand off to the side (not blocking a bus stand or store entrance).
  13. Peak commuting times are not ideal for a morning/evening run.
  14. If you attempt to jaywalk and realize the oncoming traffic is coming too fast, make sure you watch where you’re going before you walk backwards onto the sidewalk.
  15. Pick up your dog’s poop.
  16. Remember it’s not the end of the world if you miss the walk sign.
  17. If you are sore, in heels, or walking slower than normal pace, walk to the side so people can get where they need to go in a decent time. We don’t all need to be slowed down.
  18. Kids should not be scootering on the sidewalk.
  19. Stick to the “right” side of the sidewalk.
  20. If you are walking in a construction area where half the sidewalk is closed off, try not to block the oncoming walkers with a bag or arm swing that exceeds your side of the sidewalk.

That’s all…for now.

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