Sidewalk etiquette- Is there even such a thing?

Okay, so typically I don’t walk around browsing the sidewalks in town because, let’s face it, I don’t have time. And when I do get out away from full time responsibilities, it’s never further than a block at a time. But when you’re out and about on a day trip to say, the Zoo, and you have to walk two miles when you don’t want to pay for parking because you are cheap like that, who has the right a-way? Which side do you walk on? Do you yield to oncoming traffic (other pedestrians)? What are the rules and bylaws?

I assumed it was like traffic as if you are in a car. Apparently not everyone believes so. As I walked to my car I passed a group of people whom were walking on what I call the correct side of the sidewalk. Perfect pedestrian sidewalk safety. We each are in our own lanes, smile and give a nod as we pass each other. Then, right after there was a man and his two children in my lane. They’re walking towards me like dead ahead, so of course I moved over. Maybe he’s confused, distracted maybe. No biggie. However, about 50 steps behind him were another group; two women, each pushing a stroller side-by-side with a few children tootling along behind. Taking up the entire sidewalk. So what do I do? What else was there to do but stop, wait for them to pass and then continue on my journey to the car. I wasn’t aware I was in a game of chicken, but these women thought so. I lost. As I continue to walk, I’m thinking to myself, “is this a one way side walk and I didn’t see the sign?” I cross over the road to the other side thinking that these other people will have better sidewalk etiquette. Boy was I wrong.

I see a group of adults, 3 of them to be exact, standing by a car. With two strollers and one small child standing there. They aren’t moving, not budging, just standing there and taking up the entire sidewalk, talking about “Did you hear about Rachael and Jim? Boy, do they have their hands full. Taking care of three kids plus now they are taking on her sister’s kids…” Oh geez, gossip keeps you busy and apparently distracted. As I approach them, they continue to stand there, conversing and not paying attention to the world around them- oblivious to the pedestrians in the oncoming lane. What do I do? Well, since obviously I don’t want to be giving out my insurance information due to an accident, I take the “ditch” and use my best instincts to steer around them. As I approach my car, I’m determined to find out… Is there even such a thing as proper sidewalk etiquette or is it fend for yourself and walk in chaos?

So tell me, what’s your take on this?


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