I went for a walk at lunch the other day and I think that it is time for a refresher on sidewalk basics. Some rules, if you please:
1. The sidewalk works like a two-way street. Kindly keep to the right side of the sidewalk as you would when driving.
2. I walk fast. Really fast. I don’t mind if you walk slowly, but if you are a slow walker, it is extra important that you keep to the right. In other words the slow lane. Leave the middle for us fast walkers to pass.
3. When coming out of a store whose door opens right onto the sidewalk, look both ways before stepping out. Yield to pedestrians already on the sidewalk.
4. Don’t bike on the sidewalk. Seriously. Don’t.
5. If you should happen to walk faster than I do, though this is highly unusual, wait until there is space to pass me safely. I don’t want to be bumped by your backpack or elbow.
6. Never meander when walking on the sidewalk. Chances are I am behind you and trying to pass and I really don’t want to hit you with my backpack or elbow.
7. Strollers are perfectly acceptable. Even the SUV-sized ones. Just follow the keeping to the right rule, and we will get along just fine.
8. If you are walking along and bump into a friend of yours and want to stop and talk, move out of the way of the pedestrian traffic. Do not stop and take up the entire way.
9. Don’t bike on the sidewalk. Yes, this one warrants repeating.
10. If you do realize you have made an error in negotiating the sidewalk and have inadvertently bumped into or otherwise inconvenienced someone, acknowledge the error with a ‘sorry’. It happens to the best of us.
11. When waiting on a corner for a light to change, don’t block the way of people who are walking along and crossing in the other direction or who are turning the corner.
12. If I’m waiting at a corner for a light to change, don’t come along and stand in front of me. Chances are I walk a lot faster than you do.
13. Be aware of your surroundings. Scan the area in front of you and be aware of obstacles or vehicles that are not aware of you.
14. Drinking and walking? Absolutely! Just please stay safe.
There. Fourteen simple rules to follow to make the sidewalks a happier place for all of us. Now get out there. What are you waiting for? This is a beautiful time of year for being outside and getting some exercise.