I walk around New Haven a lot. I walk to work. I walk to the grocery store, often. I walk to my friend’s houses.
And the sheer quantity of amazingly stupid things I’ve seen pedestrians do is impressive. Shocking, even. Apparently, the ability to walk three consecutive blocks without doing anything tragically dumb is rarer than the Pokemon these morons are trying to catch.
So I’m going to help you, Dear Reader. I’m going to teach you the wisdom I’ve learned wandering around this crazy town, not getting hit by cars.
It’s Okay To Jaywalk Sometimes
I know, I know. You’re a fine, upstanding citizen who would never drive 66 mph on the highway. Nonetheless.
You don’t technically need to hit the Walk signal. You could redirect your cold, dead gaze from your iPhone 7, up to the world, and look both ways, and see if a car is coming. And if one isn’t coming, then just go ahead and cross anyway.
Cause you know what? Right after you hit the Walk button, you’re gonna do it and walk anyway, and then I’m gonna drive up and nobody is gonna be there and I’m gonna have to watch that Walk signal for a solid 20 seconds. Which is going to give me a lot of time to think about what you’ve done to me.
And I’m going to hate you with the fire of a thousand suns.
So just look before you hit the button. It’s not so hard, is it?
This Is Not A Good Place To Stop
I know, I know. You’re just enjoying the lovely afternoon weather with your friends, slowly ambling along, not a care in the world.
Hey, are you going in the right direction? Why not stop suddenly! That way, you can get your bearings and figure out where you are!
Oh, sure, the person behind you suddenly walks into you, starting an awkward, unnecessary encounter, but who cares about other people. Not you, Stop Walker! The only important thing is that you check your phone immediately.
Please, if you’re going to stop walking, at least get out of the way. And don’t do it in the middle of a busy street, you maniac.
Do You Really Need the Whole Sidewalk?
No. You don’t.
Stop walking side by side with four people. There are literally thousands of other people also using the sidewalks. Some of them are even behind you.
Some of them are even walking faster than than your chatty, ambling, “let’s make sure we use this full lunch hour” 0.9 mph pace.
But they can’t pass your unbreakable bond because you’re a bunch of jerks.
Stop being jerks. Leave a bit of sidewalk for the rest of the other 7 billion humans, eh?
No Need to Wander Into Traffic, Tough Guy
I get it. You’re legit. You’re tough as nails.
You don’t need no walk sign. You don’t even need traffic to stop. You’re so tough you can just wander into traffic whenever you want and your toughness actually forces cars to stop.
Or maybe, just maybe, they don’t want to spend all day filling out paperwork and dealing with insurance claims just to hit some teenager with their Buick.
Nah, it’s probably cause you’re tough.
(Note: This is mostly teenagers who do this and don’t read my blog, no idea why I’m yelling at you, sorry.)
Sure, I’d Love To Hear Your Terrible Taste in Music
I agree, my taste in music is questionable, at best.
But you know who else listens to terrible music? You. Your friends. Your parents. Pretty much everybody.
And I definitely don’t need to hear your shitty music coming out of your shitty phone while you hang out with your shitty friends.
Headphones. Are the wave of the future. No matter what Apple tells you.
Get Off Your Bike
Seriously. Get off the sidewalk, you animal. Use the road. It’s where your wheeled vehicle belongs.
tl;dir: Pay Attention
There’s like… several other people alive on the planet. They also have hopes and dreams and want to go home and take their pants off. So pay just a slight amount of attention before you ruin someone else’s morning.
You can do this. I believe in you.