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Ms. Demeanor, on . . . Sidewalk Etiquette

by Archives February 12, 2008

Dear city of Montreal sidewalk-walking population,
What is wrong with you? How hard could it be to just adhere to sidewalk walking etiquette?
I have decided that it is officially time for me to fill all of you in on the unwritten, yet blatantly obvious, International Rules for Sidewalk Walking.

1) TREAT THE SIDEWALK AS IF IT WERE A ROAD.
(And no, not a wild Montreal road, but a normal road.) One where the faster cars stay in the middle lanes, and the slower ones stay on the right.

2) MOVE TO THE RIGHT.
If you are passing someone going in the opposite direction, move to your right. That will avoid that awkward left-right-left-right-who-will-go-which-way run-in that happens when you encounter the indecisive walker.

3) When walking with friends, there is a tendency to want to walk three across.
Well guess what? The sidewalk does not belong to you and you alone. We all share the sidewalk. I know, you want to walk side-by-side like schoolgirls, but really folks, there is only so much space.

4) PASS ON THE LEFT.
Once again, treat the sidewalk like you would the road. Or rather, as your high school driving instructor would treat the road. This is where the “stay to the right” concept comes into play. If all goes according to plan, faster walkers should have no problem passing slower walkers because everyone has their place.

5) DO NOT TEXT WHILE WALKING.
You know you’ve walked behind the walk-texter and gotten pissed. Don’t be that person.

6) Do not ever- I repeat- DO NOT EVER stop in the middle of the sidewalk.
I do not care if your shoe has come untied, and I do not care that your phone is ringing and you for some odd reason do not have the brain capacity to keep walking while you answer. If you’re really that bad at multi-tasking, politely move to the side of the road and then take care of your business.

7) When entering busy sidewalk scenarios, work your way in smoothly, much like when merging onto the highway.
Do not walk straight into the quickly moving traffic, start off in the slower right lane, and edge over towards the quick-paced middle area. No one likes getting cut off.
My dearest sidewalk-walker, I know that these rules may come as a shock to you, but if we all give a little, walking the streets of our fabulous city shouldn’t be such a dreadful endeavor anymore.
Here’s to more enjoyable walking!

Sincerely,

Ms. Demeanor

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