As I have mentioned a few times recently, I have been doing a lot of walking. All this walking has given me some time and fodder for the general etiquette of sharing the streets. Here we go, kids. Take notes.
- When walking past someone on the sidewalk, it is courteous to say "hello" or "good morning" or even "howdy" as my dad likes to say. If you aren't the vocal type, a small head nod, smile or the half-wave works too. But to pretend like I don't exist is just rude. Wearing head phones does not exempt you from this. You can still see me.
- If you have the sidewalk to yourself, walk wherever you like. But when approaching someone head on, follow the rules of the road! Take the right side, just like when driving.
- If you are walking two abreast and are approaching someone on a narrow sidewalk, one of the two of you should step behind the other or step into the street. Again, follow the rules of the road.
- If I am pushing a stroller and we will not be able to comfortably pass one another on the sidewalk, please be kind and step aside. My monstrosity is agile enough, but it is much easier if just let me through without having to make any complicated maneuvers. I will certainly pay you the same respect when your turn comes.
- When approaching someone while you are walking with a dog, keep yourself between the dog and the stranger. Not everyone does this, but many people are afraid of dogs and I think this is just nice.
- Speaking of dogs, pick up their poop. Or at a minimum, get it off any walking area.
- If you know someone behind you is moving faster, it would be nice if you just let them pass you. Nothing makes me anxious like walking right behind someone for a long stretch because they speed up right when I am about to pass them.
- Oh, I love the awkwardness of passing the same person twice. This happens frequently when walking a loop in the opposite direction of someone else. To say "hi" again or not? I say yes. Or go for the smile the second time around.
- I appreciate, although it is not necessary, when runners let me know when they are going to pass me from behind.
- Bikers, get off the sidewalk. If there are absolutely no people around, then fine, ride on the sidewalk, But unless you are a kid, leave the sidewalks for people. In my city there are bike lanes everywhere. Use them.
Why the heck did I get all worked up over walking?