Foot Traffic: Where do You Walk?

When we think of the word “traffic,” usually long lines of automobiles come to mind. We’re just trying to get to or from work when we suddenly realize everyone else is, too!

But there’s another kind of traffic that I’ve been noticing lately. Foot traffic. And yes, it can be almost as frustrating as getting stuck behind 7,345 other cars on the road.

Recently while I was out in public, someone was walking down a hallway—in the middle of the hallway. And this person was walking somewhat slowly. And to top it off, this person was shifting from one foot to another, causing a swaying motion. So, all of these factors combined made it difficult for me to pass and get where I was going.

I’ve noticed this a lot lately. Could it be that I’m in too much of a rush? That’s probably the case, at least sometimes. But other times, I think it’s just folks being inconsiderate. They don’t think that someone may come up behind them walking faster than they are, so they “hog the hallway.”

Then there are those who walk on the wrong side. Yes, there is a right side! And that is to walk to the right, just like we should drive our cars. We don’t drive down Washington Road on the left side, do we? If we did, we wouldn’t last long! And walking to the left of someone else can be somewhat dangerous as well.

When I was a child, my dad taught me to walk to the right of oncoming people. Apparently many adults I “run into” weren’t taught this growing up, which results in the “zigzag” style of walking while murmuring “excuse me,” or “sorry.”

And don’t you love it when you’re at a busy intersection waiting on your turn to walk across when pedestrian sign lights up, but people in front of you don’t move? They’re either too busy looking at their phones or talking to others. Ummm…I’ve got people to see, places to be!

But alas, I’m not perfect when it comes to walking in public. In fact, the other day, I came out of the restroom at work only to round the corner as another man was heading toward the restroom. I nearly ran into him and could have knocked him down. In another recent episode, I was walking down a hallway and didn’t notice a door on the side—that is, until someone opened it on me! Cue the murmuring of “sorry!”

At the risk of sounding really irritated at what is really not that big of a deal, please know that I’m having fun writing this blog entry. I just thought I’d share my observations. Have you noticed similar behavior when you’re out and about?

I can see I’m not the only one who’s been frustrated by this:

We interrupt this not very important entry for this public service announcement: when walking in the street, also DO NOT walk in the middle. Walk on the side of the street that faces oncoming traffic, which in the U.S. is on the left.

Finally, in a related topic—if you notice someone walking a little differently that most, this handy-dandy (and hilarious) guide from Buff Dudes may help!

[Related: Do You Even Lift?]

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