I’m sure we can all point out that driver that suffers from road rage. The hint of excessive swearing as they approach roundabouts becomes part and parcel of jumping in the car with them. Why is it we are so able to voice our problems when behind a steering wheel, but not when walking down the street?
I will be the first to admit pedestrians annoy me. Not every single person annoys me, but there are a few offenders who really impact my walking pleasure.
Firstly, the couple. This is not the couple that is walking down the street gazing lovely at each other (although that sickens me too) it is the couple that holds hand. Not the couple whose bodies are close to each other, but the couple who are holding hands with their arms completely outstretched WHY? I’m sure the point of holding hands is to feel close to your partner, so why have the whole pavement between your bodies. This annoys me so much, annoyance is minimised by those that maintain a decent walking pace, but the slow couples. THE WORST. How am I supposed to navigate this arrangement? Would it be wrong to duck and walk under your arms? Should I risk jumping into the road to avoid the slow pace, or should I just take the hit and walk awkwardly close behind you until you break the hand holding so I can march on through?
It isn’t only couples that get on my nerves. Those people who use their phones and walk. So-called “Wexting”. I must admit I will occasionally check my phone on the move, but it is fair to say, those getting in touch can wait. My bigger gripe with this comes when following a person who whips their phone out and dramatically reduces their walking pace without notice. Rarely am I close enough for this to be an issue, but what if I am? Motorways have the two chevrons distance and they don’t expect the car in front to drastically reduce due to a phone, a pavement shouldn’t be riskier. It isn’t only when following a “wexter” that this causes problems. On coming “wexters” are just as hazardous, if not more so. I consider myself polite enough to spot an oncoming pedestrian and move accordingly. A “wexter” will never do this and for some reason the use of phone disables the ability to walk straight, so moving to accommodate them will likely be premature and they will end up back in your path.
Pavement etiquette isn’t something that is high up on the conversation agenda, but maybe it should be, walking on the left, as we drive, could prevent the most awkward moment of any walking encounter *that dance*. You know, the one where you move left, they move right, forward momentum means you are now too close for comfort but still in each other’s way. Why isn’t it a case that we all walk on the left, think of how many awkward encounters this could prevent?