Pedestrians in the city are grossly inconsiderate
By Janis McMath, Senior Columnist
I feel the desperate need for a handheld car horn whenever I’m walking in Vancouver. Navigating in the city can be a very infuriating experience because pedestrians are extremely selfish and unaware.
What’s up with pedestrians constantly crossing when they don’t have the right of way and holding up traffic? Or taking up entire sidewalks outside restaurants while talking to their friends in a big circle jerk? Or coming at you Red Rover style and conquering the entire concrete runway so everyone else has nowhere else to go? Or always crossing when emergency vehicles have their lights on and are trying to do their extremely important jobs?
If you’re in public, you’re in a shared space and you need to always be conscious of that. Your actions will directly impact those around you, so I can’t understand how some people can be so ridiculously self-centred if they expect to live in a society that isn’t complete anarchy. Or is the population really that oblivious?
Being a good pedestrian should be intuitive because it is just good manners and common sense. Everyone is entitled to a piece of the sidewalk. There should be no shoving of others onto the street. Citizens should be able to walk on the sidewalk at their own pace—if you’re slow, make room for people to pass you. Additionally, if you’re too slow to cross the street before the counter finishes, don’t cross the street and make traffic wait for you—be safe and don’t be a dick.
Realize if you don’t care about other travellers’ turns that they have no reason to care about your turn. If you don’t respect a car’s right to go and drive safely, why do you expect them to respect your right to cross and be safe?
Your time and your claim to a public space aren’t any more important anyone else’s. If you are going to be in a public space, you need to be aware of the needs of those around you and get the heck out of the way.