October 25, 2010
Now that I live downtown, I spend a lot of time on the sidewalks, walking through intersections and using crosswalks. Today I have to admit to you that from all this exposure I have become a disgruntled pedestrian.
We all know the rules of the road as drivers; red means stop and green means go. What people seem to be clueless about are the rules of the sidewalk. Unfortunately, there is no handbook or exam to take for a licence to walk the streets. There is however an unwritten set of rules; a mutual understanding. I want to make it my mission to write these rules and share them with the world.
Walk on the right side. When using the sidewalk, the left side of your body should be in the centre of the sidewalk; just as we drive on the right side of the road.
Pedestrians with strollers or young children earn the right of way. This is assuming you have already broken #1. Don’t make someone with child walk nearest to the road.
As a driver, do not pull out over the sidewalk. Stay behind the sidewalk line until you have a clear opening to proceed. Should you find yourself on the sidewalk and a pedestrian comes along, back that thing up!
Again, as a driver, do not pull out into any intersection until it is clear to go. Blocking the road between two sections of sidewalk causes the pedestrian to walk into the line of traffic. The same goes for major intersections. Those two white lines indicate where feet should be, not tires.
So you see diary, whether you are the driver or the pedestrian it is of utmost importance that these rules are followed. In return, I promise never to jaywalk or to start crossing the road after the hand signal has started to flash. If someone fails to adhere to this list, they may just run into a disgruntled pedestrian like me.
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net. Photographed by nuttakit.