Sidewalk Etiquette 101
Just like street traffic flow, the sidewalk has a flow to it as well and if you’re walking against the flow – move over or you might get clipped.
As I walk the busy streets of downtown Chicago, everyday I encounter someone who is oblivious to the sidewalk etiquette. One would think that everyone knows how to share a sidewalk, but they don’t. They start, stop, turn and crisscross the sidewalk like unaware they are causing a sidewalk jam.
This post is dedicated to the sidewalk hogs that slow us and make us late for work.
1. Pick a side and stick to it. The unofficial guideline is that sidewalk traffic mirrors lane traffic. Look at the traffic lane nearest you. If Northbound traffic is on the right, you should be on the right. Move to the right and don’t meander from side to side, walk in a straight line.
2. Observe the Two Person Rule. Sure it’s nice to walk with your friends, but you can’t hog entire sidewalk. The only exception is when you are traveling with small children or someone you need to protect on both sides.
3. Be Aware of Personal Space. Just like the dance floor, you can’t go dancing all over the place without regard to the people next to you. Be mindful of umbrellas, book bags, wheeled cases and other extensions of your personal presence. No one wants to be “clipped” by your stuff.
4. Walk don’t Ride. It’s a sidewalk, not "ridewalk." Grown folks have no business riding bikes on the sidewalk. If you’re worried about cars, don’t force others to worry about bikes. Similar rules apply to skateboarders and rollerbladers; there are parks for those types on activities. Walk to it.
5. Dogs (and some Children) should both be on a leash. Both have a right to walk on the sidewalk… if they are well behaved.
Don’t be a sidewalk hog, the rules of etiquette apply outdoors as well as in. Plus, it’s these types of common courtesy that keep society moving forward - pun intended.