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A pedestrian lane for people using phones? Not a bad idea…

By Alexandra Craig - 30 June 2015 24

man texting while walking

News stories have cropped up in the last few weeks about a university in the United States that has painted bright green lanes on the footpath for runners, walkers, and people texting. The university said that the lanes were a lighthearted way to brighten up the campus and get students’ attention. Similar lanes have also been painted on some footpaths in China, but not for fun – they were painted because texters kept colliding with non-texters!

While this is all a bit amusing, if any shopping malls in Australia or other busy thoroughfares would like to take note and implement a similar concept I would be 100 per cent supportive. My gripe isn’t entirely with texters though, it’s also with slow walkers and groups of people that walk side-by-side across a walkway.

I’ll never forget being at a shopping mall as a kid and seeing two people pick up a blanket outside a homewares store and open it up to see the pattern – one person holding one end outside the store, and one on the other end across the walkway, blocking all traffic. It was like a human pile up. Funny to look back on, but at the time people were furious – especially the ones that smacked into the back of someone else.

While the example above is pretty extreme and quite rare, people blocking the walkway is hugely frustrating. I walk pretty quickly and if people are walking side-by-side there’s often no room to pass. The second there’s a gap you have to dart around them and then they get cranky about being ‘pushed in front of’.

While I know most people reading this will tell me to be more patient, if I’m walking from one end of the Canberra Centre to the other and can’t get past slow walkers, it’s going to hold me up a fair bit. While I could be more patient, other people could be more considerate too.

I understand that some people can’t help being slow due to age/injury/disability, and that’s fine, just don’t walk side-by-side if there’s five of you. Maybe we should invest in some pedestrian bells?

During Christmas trading, why not take things a step further and implement lanes for trolleys and prams? I can’t be the only one who has been ankle tapped by an overloaded trolley not within the control of the pusher. I’m actually surprised there’s not more trolley collisions on a regular day in supermarkets. The way some people come flying out of aisles with trolleys is a bit dangerous.

The way I think about it is; would I come flying into an intersection without looking both ways if I was in a car? Of course not, so why wouldn’t I check before coming out of a supermarket aisle. Same rule applies for exiting a store. I will exclusively shop at any supermarket that implements a trolley licence.

No matter what your views on this, I think we can all agree that fines should be issued to people who stand side by side on an escalator and refuse to let people pass – lock them up and throw away the key, I say!

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
A pedestrian lane for people using phones? Not a bad idea…
Alexandra Craig 5:10 pm 30 Jun 15

GardeningGirl said :

Texters. I’m sometimes really impressed by their peripheral vision and ability to multitask. But the ones who aren’t so skilled definately need their own lane.
Groups of people walking side-by-side. It shouldn’t be a problem if they’re mindful of the space they are in and the other people moving, or trying to move, in that space, and shift around accordingly, but usually they are utterly oblivious to the traffic jam they are causing.
Passing on escalators. I don’t mind a well-timed “excuse me” from someone in a genuine hurry but what passes for manners by some people is a shout in the ear at the exact instant as they shove into my bags, or me, and too often it’s those sorts of people who get off the escalator and slow down or even stop because they really weren’t in a hurry after all.

Actually, I’ve changed my mind. The WORST thing is when people get off an escalator and then stop to look around to decide which direction they want to go.

bryansworld 4:50 pm 30 Jun 15

GardeningGirl said :

Texters. I’m sometimes really impressed by their peripheral vision and ability to multitask. But the ones who aren’t so skilled definately need their own lane.
Groups of people walking side-by-side. It shouldn’t be a problem if they’re mindful of the space they are in and the other people moving, or trying to move, in that space, and shift around accordingly, but usually they are utterly oblivious to the traffic jam they are causing.
Passing on escalators. I don’t mind a well-timed “excuse me” from someone in a genuine hurry but what passes for manners by some people is a shout in the ear at the exact instant as they shove into my bags, or me, and too often it’s those sorts of people who get off the escalator and slow down or even stop because they really weren’t in a hurry after all.

It’s not that hard to keep to the left. You wouldn’t behave like that on a footpath, so why is it OK on an escalator?

GardeningGirl 4:17 pm 30 Jun 15

Texters. I’m sometimes really impressed by their peripheral vision and ability to multitask. But the ones who aren’t so skilled definately need their own lane.
Groups of people walking side-by-side. It shouldn’t be a problem if they’re mindful of the space they are in and the other people moving, or trying to move, in that space, and shift around accordingly, but usually they are utterly oblivious to the traffic jam they are causing.
Passing on escalators. I don’t mind a well-timed “excuse me” from someone in a genuine hurry but what passes for manners by some people is a shout in the ear at the exact instant as they shove into my bags, or me, and too often it’s those sorts of people who get off the escalator and slow down or even stop because they really weren’t in a hurry after all.

Alexandra Craig 2:33 pm 30 Jun 15

Maya123 said :

blandone said :

Alexandra Craig said :

blandone said :

There are few things in this world more satisfying, than walking onto an escalator with my two young daughters – half a step in front of a self absorbed young lady in a hurry. As I hold on to both handrails the sense of power is almost indescribable, far outweighing the burning of the evil eyes in the back of my head.

Why specifically a female in a hurry? Generally if someone was to only just make it in front of me and then block the pathway entirely, I will ask to be let past.

I’m yet to encounter a self absorbed young man in a hurry on an escalator – but when I do they too shall be forced to endure the torturous 20 second ride. A few have asked to push pass me and my 2 girls holding hands on an escalator, none have yet succeeded.

So if someone politely asks to pass you on the escalator you would clamp the railing tighter and refuse to budge? I couldn’t be so rude.

Yup, that’s just being intentionally rude. Not sure if the commenter is being sarcastic or not, but if that’s actually how they conduct themselves they’re not setting a great example for their children.

Maya123 1:55 pm 30 Jun 15

bryansworld said :

blandone said :

Alexandra Craig said :

blandone said :

There are few things in this world more satisfying, than walking onto an escalator with my two young daughters – half a step in front of a self absorbed young lady in a hurry. As I hold on to both handrails the sense of power is almost indescribable, far outweighing the burning of the evil eyes in the back of my head.

Why specifically a female in a hurry? Generally if someone was to only just make it in front of me and then block the pathway entirely, I will ask to be let past.

I’m yet to encounter a self absorbed young man in a hurry on an escalator – but when I do they too shall be forced to endure the torturous 20 second ride. A few have asked to push pass me and my 2 girls holding hands on an escalator, none have yet succeeded.

And anyhow, I’ve always thought it was the people that stood across the escalator, footpath etc. and blocked it that were the self-absorbed ones!

+1 Also, with the escalator, too lazy to walk. Not a good example to children.

Leon 1:35 pm 30 Jun 15

Canberra has a thousand kilometres of streets that would benefit from a pedestrian lane for anybody who doesn’t want to walk no the road.

bryansworld 12:56 pm 30 Jun 15

blandone said :

Alexandra Craig said :

blandone said :

There are few things in this world more satisfying, than walking onto an escalator with my two young daughters – half a step in front of a self absorbed young lady in a hurry. As I hold on to both handrails the sense of power is almost indescribable, far outweighing the burning of the evil eyes in the back of my head.

Why specifically a female in a hurry? Generally if someone was to only just make it in front of me and then block the pathway entirely, I will ask to be let past.

I’m yet to encounter a self absorbed young man in a hurry on an escalator – but when I do they too shall be forced to endure the torturous 20 second ride. A few have asked to push pass me and my 2 girls holding hands on an escalator, none have yet succeeded.

And anyhow, I’ve always thought it was the people that stood across the escalator, footpath etc. and blocked it that were the self-absorbed ones!

Maya123 12:37 pm 30 Jun 15

blandone said :

Alexandra Craig said :

blandone said :

There are few things in this world more satisfying, than walking onto an escalator with my two young daughters – half a step in front of a self absorbed young lady in a hurry. As I hold on to both handrails the sense of power is almost indescribable, far outweighing the burning of the evil eyes in the back of my head.

Why specifically a female in a hurry? Generally if someone was to only just make it in front of me and then block the pathway entirely, I will ask to be let past.

I’m yet to encounter a self absorbed young man in a hurry on an escalator – but when I do they too shall be forced to endure the torturous 20 second ride. A few have asked to push pass me and my 2 girls holding hands on an escalator, none have yet succeeded.

So if someone politely asks to pass you on the escalator you would clamp the railing tighter and refuse to budge? I couldn’t be so rude.

bryansworld 12:36 pm 30 Jun 15

blandone said :

Alexandra Craig said :

blandone said :

There are few things in this world more satisfying, than walking onto an escalator with my two young daughters – half a step in front of a self absorbed young lady in a hurry. As I hold on to both handrails the sense of power is almost indescribable, far outweighing the burning of the evil eyes in the back of my head.

Why specifically a female in a hurry? Generally if someone was to only just make it in front of me and then block the pathway entirely, I will ask to be let past.

I’m yet to encounter a self absorbed young man in a hurry on an escalator – but when I do they too shall be forced to endure the torturous 20 second ride. A few have asked to push pass me and my 2 girls holding hands on an escalator, none have yet succeeded.

I’ve got young kids too. And sometimes I walk up escalators and travellators (and whatever those interfloor things are in the megamalls). I think it is courteous and considerate to stand to the left to allow others to pass. We have all been in a hurry at one time or another.

Evilomlap 12:17 pm 30 Jun 15

I hear you, Alexandra. Slow walkers are just one species of mall dweller that irritates me though. The one that drives me most insane is the Gentle Veerer. You’re coming up behind them at a fast pace, you start to edge out to overtake, and they start to veer in that direction…so annoying!

Seriously though, I never feel the urge to walk and text, or drive and text. Or obsessively check my phone every time I stop at a set of traffic lights. I can’t understand the thought process behind it. Just *stop*, or wait and reply when you’re parked or sitting down somewhere. Nothing is that urgent you have to do it on the fly. Smart phones are turning us all into morons.

blandone 11:41 am 30 Jun 15

Alexandra Craig said :

blandone said :

There are few things in this world more satisfying, than walking onto an escalator with my two young daughters – half a step in front of a self absorbed young lady in a hurry. As I hold on to both handrails the sense of power is almost indescribable, far outweighing the burning of the evil eyes in the back of my head.

Why specifically a female in a hurry? Generally if someone was to only just make it in front of me and then block the pathway entirely, I will ask to be let past.

I’m yet to encounter a self absorbed young man in a hurry on an escalator – but when I do they too shall be forced to endure the torturous 20 second ride. A few have asked to push pass me and my 2 girls holding hands on an escalator, none have yet succeeded.

Maya123 11:28 am 30 Jun 15

blandone said :

There are few things in this world more satisfying, than walking onto an escalator with my two young daughters – half a step in front of a self absorbed young lady in a hurry. As I hold on to both handrails the sense of power is almost indescribable, far outweighing the burning of the evil eyes in the back of my head.

You are meant to stand left and leave the right clear. This way the slow moving don’t block the path of others. Many people do appear to be self absorbed though, and don’t realise others might want to pass. I tend to walk up escalators to speed things up, and it’s exercise too.

Mysteryman 11:26 am 30 Jun 15

While the example above is pretty extreme and quite rare, people blocking the walkway is hugely frustrating. I walk pretty quickly and if people are walking side-by-side there’s often no room to pass. The second there’s a gap you have to dart around them and then they get cranky about being ‘pushed in front of’.

I love Japan for many reasons, but one is that people over there are incredibly considerate of those around them. Everyone uses the left side of the escalator, and leaves the right side free for people who wish to move faster. It’s surprising how much more pleasant it is getting around in a place where people behave like that.

Alexandra Craig 11:20 am 30 Jun 15

blandone said :

There are few things in this world more satisfying, than walking onto an escalator with my two young daughters – half a step in front of a self absorbed young lady in a hurry. As I hold on to both handrails the sense of power is almost indescribable, far outweighing the burning of the evil eyes in the back of my head.

Why specifically a female in a hurry? Generally if someone was to only just make it in front of me and then block the pathway entirely, I will ask to be let past.

blandone 11:11 am 30 Jun 15

There are few things in this world more satisfying, than walking onto an escalator with my two young daughters – half a step in front of a self absorbed young lady in a hurry. As I hold on to both handrails the sense of power is almost indescribable, far outweighing the burning of the evil eyes in the back of my head.

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