i pretty much walk everywhere – class is about a half mile away, my jobs are both a mile from my apartment, the bagel joint i love is barely a quarter mile’s trek, and speedway and their addicting coffee? half-mile, tops.
i also log upwards of twenty miles a week running outdoors. and after many close calls, i have come up with a small list of things that i wish all pedestrians would keep in mind in order to minimize runner-pedestrian sidewalk mishaps.
- the sidewalk is a microcosmic two- or three-lane road. keep to the right. if somebody is coming the opposite way, and also keeping to the right, you all will pass like ships in the night. and if somebody – like a jogger, or maybe just a quick walker – wants to pass you, all they need to do is bear to your left. just like on the big-girl roads with the vroom vrooms. we pass on the left and everybody is happy.
- at the very least, don’t walk in the damn middle of the sidewalk. truly i could care less which side you walk on, as long as you pick a side. but don’t walk right down the middle. sidewalks aren’t wide enough that we can pass on either side if you’re walking dead center. it’s just unnecessary.
- speaking of walking – straight line!! bobbing and weaving, unless it is 2am on saturday or sunday and you reek of margaritas, is not okay. i understand walking is prime time to text – i do it too. but try to keep in mind that while you’re QWERTYing, the rest of us on that sidewalk would appreciate it if you could walk in a relatively straight line so we can attempt to predict your movement and avoid slamming into you.
- if you’re walking shoulder-to-shoulder with a friend and you see a runner coming the other way, if neither of you is pushing a stroller or carrying something heavy or holding an umbrella for you both, we would really appreciate if you could stagger for three seconds to let us through. expecting us to hop the curb to run in the street or to go trample somebody’s peonies because you don’t want to interrupt your conversation flow is a little selfish, no?
- we’re not out to mow you down or scare you. if we startle you because you’re on the phone or listening to your ipod and didn’t hear us coming up behind you, well…that’s not our fault.
- if you make eye contact with me, i always smile and wave. promise.