I’m not an aggressive driver. I’m actually a pretty defensive driver. It makes me feel more comfortable.
I can’t say the same about the way that I walk, though, especially in the city.
People downtown have places to be. We’re not moseying down, say, Michigan Avenue to take in the sights. We’re on lunch break, running errands or doing something else that has a time limit. Usually, a time crunch.
For these reasons, I’d totally classify myself as an aggressive pedestrian. I have total pedestrian rage. If you guys could hear my thoughts as I walk down the street…
(Side note: Living in southern Spain for four months was a huge struggle. Pretty sure the Spaniards are just never in a hurry. Their sidewalks are also tiny, making it impossible to pass. Okay, I’m digressing.)
So. I’ve decided that walking in a city is like driving. Hear me out.
There are two directions of traffic. Here in America, we drive (and walk) on the right side of the road (sidewalk). You (are supposed to) follow a few traffic laws (jay-walking, etc.). Most importantly, there are a few points of common courtesy that all should follow. Allow me to explain.
If you are walking quickly, following the flow of “traffic”, do not stop dead in your tracks. The person behind you will bump into you (rear-end you) (this is terribly awkward for everyone), or they may trip over themselves as they try to avoid you.
Now, imagine that the sidewalk is divided into lanes. (Downtown, it totally is. And I’m always in the fast lane.) When you suddenly decide to make a turn, please check over your shoulder to make sure you aren’t cutting people off. Just like your blind spot before you change lanes. Easy enough, right?
And, now for the tourists. I know that Chicago is beautiful, trust me. And I’ve become a pro at discreetly appreciating that beauty… while I walk at an efficient pace. Or, as we called it during recruitment, “walking with a purpose.” (Holla, PHC!) If you want to stare at those gross new “TRUMP” letters, pull over and do so somewhere else. The middle of the sidewalk is not that place.
I’m really sorry about how sassy this post is. Can you tell that I just got back from some intense power-walking down Michigan Avenue?
(I was trying to get to Chipotle, so. I’m sure you understand.)