Sidewalk Etiquette

While perusing a copy of Lynne Truss’ new book “Talk to the Hand,” I got to thinking about one of her – and my – pet peeves: NY sidewalk rules of etiquette, or the lack thereof.

1. It drives me crazy when people walk four abreast on the sidewalk. Since these people are generally tourists, I always do my best to crash through them whenever possible. I like confirming New York’s reputation of housing the rudest, most vile individuals on the planet. Especially for people from Atlanta, who talk too loudly and wear fanny packs.

2. I’m generally amazed at people who zigzag all over town. Me, I walk a straight path between distances. If I’m about two feet from the curb, I generally stay about two feet from the curb during my whole journey on foot. People who ramble from one side of the sidewalk to the other slay me. Why? It’s not like they’re window shopping while walking to the bus stop, or trying to avert errant dog poo. What’s up with that?

3. Perhaps the thing that annoys me to distraction is people who walk on the left hand side of the sidewalk. I really want to know, why, when this is a country in which people drive on the right hand side of the road, that one would walk on the opposite side? Is there some unwritten rule I don’t know about?

Any die-hard left-side walkers out there? Please send in your thoughts – I’m curious. Perhaps if you enlighten me with the logic behind why you walk where you walk, I’ll give up shoving left-side walkers out of my way for the new year.

4 Comments so far

  1. Sean (unregistered) on December 12th, 2005 @ 3:43 pm

    Hey, I’m a leftie! ;-) When I was in NY I tried in vain to educate New Yorkers in the error of their ways, alas I failed :-(

    Seriouly though, why do we go to the left and almost everyone else bar the Japanese, Irish and Maltese don’t? I’ll be fucked if I know, but a few differences here and there is a good thing.

  2. ~dana (unregistered) on December 12th, 2005 @ 9:13 pm

    amen to that. and don’t even get me started on trying to walk the sidewalks in Chinatown. I can feel my blood pressure raising just thinking about it.

  3. pantrygirl (unregistered) on December 13th, 2005 @ 4:43 pm

    How about the people that give you a dirty look when you ask them to break up their pack of sidewalk horders?

    Excuse me but last I checked the sidewalk was public property.

  4. Sara (unregistered) on December 13th, 2005 @ 7:05 pm

    It seems like the left side is less crowded. Maybe there are less people coming then going. I don’t know but I always have better luck on the left side. And feel free to shove we know we should be walking on the other side, so we just stick our pointy elbows out and jab you back in the ribs if we have to.

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