Following on from the success of my initial pedestrian rage post, I thought I would revisit the topic to highlight some of the areas of walking life that didn’t get acknowledged the first time around.
Cyclists tend to get a pretty bad reputation on the road. The normal complaints about cycling a few a breast or not signally come their way. I’m not sure why this means they feel they are welcome on the pavement. A few councils have stated they will stop prosecuting cyclists that jump on the pavement. I’m going to suggest cyclist should stick to the road and brush up on their highway code. I don’t necessarily mind the children that are on their bikes while their parents push them, but the wheeled vehicle should remain on the road. Their different pace on two wheels makes them a hazard for pedestrians, but also a danger to themselves.
Groups, I moaned about couples, but groups are just as bad. They provide an obstacle that is even harder to get around. Or there is the problem with walking towards them and working out how to get past the wall of people walking towards you. I think groups are slightly more frustrating than the couple by the sheer number of people that you need to navigate. There is, however, a special group I want to draw particular attention to. The few individuals, two or three, but who are yet to master the art of walking in a straight line. Those that weave from left to right across the path. There is just no obvious way to get past them. And you run the risk of being walked into as you try to pass them.
Then there are those that think the pavement is a meeting point. I’ll admit meeting on the street can be convenient, but I would suggest taking care of those behind you. When you meet up with the squad don’t just stop, and then gather across the WHOLE width of the path. I’m sure your reunion is important, but so is the place I’m trying to get to, so please contain yourselves.
Then there are car users. Typically they don’t feature on the pavement, but occasionally I’ll need to cross a junction. In these scenarios, I turn my gaze to the approaching traffic. If they have no indicator on, I walk across. Perfectly reasonable. Unfortunately, in vehicles where they have hands free, heated seats and cruise control, they seem incapable of pressing the indicator to allow pedestrians to know what their intentions are. I should not be made to run across the junction by you because you are yet to find the indicator.
Last time I suggested the idea of walking on the left to avoid awkward encounters. Now I think I’d like the addition of an overtaking lane. Keep the path designated for those that like to walk at an average pace, but provide an overtaking lane for those that have a small desire to get where they are going in a reasonable time. This will also negate the situation where people walk awkwardly fast to get past you and then maintain that pace as really they don’t walk that much faster than you do. Or those that constantly vary their walking pace making assessing the overtake even more difficult.