Whoever coined the phrase “take time to stop and smell the roses” wasn’t a university student in a big city. With hectic schedules and fast-paced lifestyles, a casual stroll is a luxury that few of us can afford.
But the need to navigate through public spaces quickly and efficiently seems to be alien to many people. They show little consideration for those of us who are in a hurry as they slowly meander down the center of city sidewalks, slowing up people on the move or blocking their paths completely. And as a student with a quick stride and little time to spare, nothing is more infuriating. I’m always stuck behind these “slow-walkers”, too self-absorbed to keep to one side of the sidewalk, hallway, staircase or escalator, and oblivious to the fact that before they got in my way, I was moving at a rapid pace.
Why can’t pedestrians learn to respect the “rules of the road”, and keep to the right-hand side of walkways to ensure that those walking quickly do not have to break their stride? This works well in the world of motor vehicles, allowing either on-coming or faster-moving traffic to pass on the left. I’m not saying we should paint yellow dividing lines down sidewalks and stairwells, just “keep right” to allow speedier pedestrians to pass. Tension between fast and slow walkers would be lessened, allowing for greater harmony amidst the pedestrian population, and preventing instances of “side-walk rage”.
So the next time you find yourself casually strolling through a crowded public space with no particular urgency in your step, remember that you’re in the minority. Do the rest of us a favor and KEEP RIGHT.