Sidewalking

OK, not technically subway related, but if you’re on the subway, you end up on the sidewalk at some point.

I work close to Times Square and spend a lot of time dodging tourists, especially on my evening walk to the subway when they tend to be out looking for dinner and/or a show. I don’t need to tell you all the annoying things tourists do on sidewalks, nor how frustrating slow or stopped traffic can be when you just want to get home (or at least onto the train to read a good book).

So here’s what we need to teach tourists: I’m not joking about calling it “traffic” on sidewalks. Our sidewalks are like your highways – we take short trips to the store, commute and go out to dinner via sidewalk for some or all of the trip. Just like a highway, a large percentage of people are trying to get where they’re going pretty quickly. But it’s fine if you’re on the scenic route, just translate everything you know about driving to the sidewalk. Want to go slow? Stay to the side. Want to stop, take pictures, check the map, make out? Pull over. Yield to faster movers. Stay alert. Don’t try to go 3 or 4 abreast! If you can’t follow the rules, at least stay out of rush hour, which is a bit later here than back home. Sleep in or have an earlier dinner, just don’t debate where to eat at 7pm in the middle of the sidewalk.

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