Pavement etiquette

Check out this video on Pavement Etiquette. Source: Videojug

If you look up into the sky now, you are likely to see lots of birds racing around catching flies for their young. I find it amazing that, despite their speed, they never crash into one another. It's a pity that the humans on the pavements below couldn't be like them.

I walk a lot around Madrid and each time I am confronted by a lack of "pavement manners" and basic common sense.

Many pavements are narrow and so logically you can't always walk side by side with your friend. You should walk in front of your friend if you see someone coming towards you; otherwise you end up making physical contact with the stranger. Why are people so reluctant to do this?

It's the same on wider pavements.  I often meet six people walking side by side and occupying the whole pavement. Wouldn't it make more sense to divide up into smaller groups?

I think it's great that couples demonstrate their togetherness to the world by holding hands, but you can let go for a second to allow someone to pass you.

I will only walk on the road to give way to elderly couples or mothers with very young children.

So many mothers with prams bulldoze their way through people at great speed expecting them to jump out of the way.

It's the same with cyclists. I can sympathise with them - some roads are just too dangerous to cycle on. But they come straight towards you as if they have the right of way.

Lots of people walk along the pavements with their ears glued to a mobile. I can understand why they are banned in cars - people don't look where they are going as they chat to their friends.

More and more people are texting as they walk around - it might be wise to look up now and again.

How many times have you bumped into someone as they come out of  buildings? I only hope for them that they don't do the same when they cross a road.

Sometimes cars have to cross a pavement to enter or exit a place. Many drivers couldn't care less if there are pedestrians there or not.

All of the situations that I have mentioned can be avoided with just a bit of common sense. As this is so obviously lacking in most people, it might be useful to have an advertising campaign to teach people some basic pavement manners. What do you think?


Anonymous said…
hahaha, it was very funny. Definitely, I like the name "pavement tango".
I wonder what kind of hat represents a spaniard? Mexican hat?
Graham said…

The Videojug videos are great because you have the text to read as you listen. They give advice about all kinds of things.
Anonymous said…
You have forgotten people who spit in public. It's really disgusting.
I agree with you on most of your advice. I think many times the question is to use common sense, but some people need more education to realize that street or public spaces are shared with other people. For example think about teenagers using their mobile phones as if it were a cassette with loud music.
Graham said…

I agree with you about spitting but I don't see so much of it around the streets of Madrid.

I also forgot to mention dog poo. There are still too many owners who don't pick up after their dog. What I find strange are the people who do pick up the poo but leave the bag at the side of the pavement.