Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sidewalk Etiquette

Since I have a driving phobia, I end up walking on sidewalks a lot. I think there is an unspoken etiquette that most sidewalk users follow. For example, if two people who are going in opposite directions meet, both of them should go to the right to avoid collision. Some people, however, violate sidewalk etiquette, and that can annoy me. There are three main types of people who do this:

1) Moms. OK, so baby carriages take up space. But being a mom does not permit you to take up the whole sidewalk and push everyone else off of it. You're just as capable of moving a few inches to the right as I am. This especially applies to moms who travel in packs. Go single file when someone is coming, just like a pack of non-moms would. Popping out a kid doesn't make you more important than everyone else. New moms already get "courtesy parking" at the mall...what more do they want? (Speaking of which, can really fat people use those spaces too? How is that different from being pregnant?)

2) Lawn Cutters. I was once walking down the sidewalk, and a giant ride-on lawn mower was cutting the grass beside the walk, going in the opposite direction. As I approached, he saw me, but needed to swerve onto the sidewalk to avoid a tree or something. Instead of waiting for me to pass, he pulled out directly in front of me. We both stopped. I'm not going the long way around you, buddy...you're the one driving a vehicle on the sidewalk (see below). You could've waited 2 seconds for me to pass, but now we're stuck in this weird standoff. So he eventually went around me and I continued on my merry way. I'm glad he didn't decide to drive over me, because those blades looked pointy.

3) Bikers. A bike is a vehicle. Vehicles go on the road, walkers go on the sidewalk. That said, I realize that it would be suicide to bike on some busy roads, so it's necessary to use the sidewalk. All I ask is that such bikers realize they are in a place they are not supposed to be, and yield the sidewalk to its proper occupants when necessary.

There was one time this particularly pissed me off. I was walking Willard with V, and some old dude was biking toward us on the sidewalk. As he approached, he started ringing the bell on his bike. We moved slightly, but we weren't going on the grass to avoid him. He continued down the middle of the sidewalk, rung again as he went by, and came within inches of running over our dog. I turn to V and say loudly "what the fuck was that?" It still pisses me off just thinking about it. It's like a car driving onto a soccer field and honking because people are playing soccer there. Then attempting to run them all over when they keep playing. Asshole.

When I'm on a bike, and need to use the sidewalk, I either switch to the road when people are walking in my path, or go around on the grass. People who are walking should not be affected at all by my passage, because they are in the right place and I am not.

Follow these simple guidelines, and you will avoid my wrath.

To compensate for the grumpiness of this post, here are some happy words: SUNSHINE, JOY-JOY, RAINBOWS, SATAN, HEARTS, PUPPIES, KITTENS.


19 comments:

Miranda said...

Omg that is so true, I hate bikers on the sidewalks at the best of times.

LMAO...I love the compensating words for your grumpiness. oOSatan. lol

Salem said...

How about my own most hated situation:
Two people walking together trying to push you, all by yourself, onto the grass.

Rev. Smokin Steve said...

I hate bicyclists no matter hwere they are. They always think they own the road or the sidewalk.

madamerouge said...

I'm 6'4"
Everyone gets outta my way

Harry J. Sachz said...

it should be mentioned that your walking rules apply to hallways indoors... when people are walking side-by-side or talking with each other idly in the middle of the hallway, why is it our repsponibility to go around?.. they could take their conversation to where it doesn't bother anyone else...

last week I was driving home and there were 5 teenage kids walking side by side, taking up the entire lane coming in my direction... they clearly saw me coming and would not move out of the way.. I understand the 'wanna be cool in front of your friends' mentality, and trying to have a showdown with a 2-ton vehicle; but not when that driver is me... I just kept going... similar to your 'guy with the faggy ass bell' almost running over your dog... they were the ones in error

Timmy said...

JOY - JOY! funny stuff Phronko!~

Phronk said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way. You guys are right - this also applies to narrow hallways, groups of people, people on the road, and bicyclists on the road (I could write a whole other post about how bikes are supposed to follow the same rules as cars on the road...i.e. not weave between other cars which are stopped so you can be the first one to get an advance green, then not signal before you turn, etc.)

I do wish they had bike paths beside every sidewalk. Someone should make it a law or something. That would solve lots of problems (not only my annoyance, but more people would take bikes instead of big noisy stinky polluting cars).

The Stevo in H-Town said...

How 'bout dem diesel trucks that come-up behindya onda freeway and honk that obnoxious horn atya ta get outta da way...and yer already travelin' 10 miles overda speed-limit?...bunchadicks...

Shora said...

My favourite is when people get the to the top of an escalator and then stop.

Great post!

Jason said...

What about subway etiquette? I think the fact that I take the subway first thing in the morning when I'm not yet fully awake, and then at the end of the day when I'm fed up, explains most of my frustration.

indygirl said...

You need to make this into a flyer and take copies with you on your walks - distributing as needed.

Superstar said...

Can you please spread the work to peeps in a mall?? I refuse for other OCD reason I will not talk about here to go to malls and this is one of the very reasons...ALL the people keep coming RIGHT at me......
AHHHHHHHHH

Excuse me can you please get off my road? What? I am driving on the sidewalk??? YOu don't say?!?!?!

Butchieboy said...

I like to drive my tank on the sidewalk.

sarah said...

I hate it when people have orgies out on the sidewalk! What, am I supposed to step over you? Get a room! What a bunch of jerks.

Phronk said...

I know! And I totally hate it when people hold mass suicides in my bathtub. I'm all like "oy, what's this mess? Don't you people have your own tubs?", and then they're all like "we can't even respond, because we're dead", and it just sucks the bag big time.

60 and counting said...

It's easy to fix those cyclists on the sidewalk.
As they go past, whack the end of their handlebars. All anybody else will see, is some guy going apeshit and ploughing into something, just after he passed you.
After a couple of times they seem to get the message.

DogGirl said...

Are sidewalk those little cement pathy things in the park that I drive my H2 on?

Greg said...

Jesus shit.

Bells + bicycles + sidewalk = Inreased chances of pedestrians getting nailed. In the collision sense that is

Adorable Girlfriend said...

I totally agree with your rockin' post! I always say outloud, folks - it's like driving cars. Observe that rules. I just hate the ones who think if I stop and stand here, you will be forced to go around me. Do you stop your car in the middle of the road because you are a scared wimp? Em, no!