Sidewalk Rage and Why Walking is Much Like Driving

Because I am a really fast walker naturally, I’ve noticed recently that walking along the street is like driving on the road. There are usually two lanes: right going forward/down, left going back/up. There are those people who tailgate and then as soon as there’s an opening swerve into the other lane in order to get around whoever is in front of them (Yes, I am usually this person, on the sidewalk, at least). Then there’s the “sidewalk rage” which is almost the same as road rage, except it usually doesn’t include stalking or getting physical with someone (at least, I don’t think it does).

I’ll admit it. I get road rage, therefore I get sidewalk rage. I’m definitely a passive road/sidewalk rager. In the car, I usually talk to myself out loud and tell myself how idiotic or slow the other drivers are; on my feet, I usually seethe inwardly at the stupidity and slowness of the people in front and around me. . .

I actually think I get more annoyed walking on a sidewalk than I do driving a car. Here’s why: sidewalks only have so much space, and usually there are people walking both ways, so when there’s a group of people (usually teens or college kids) that just need to walk side by side with their friends, it inconveniences EVERYONE. It inconveniences me and others like me who walk fast and want to get around you because we can’t get around you because there are people going the other direction who are also inconvenienced and are trying to make their way around you, and if we see this, we have to slow our pace, let them pass, and then hope more people aren’t too close behind them so that we can finally go around and get ourselves ahead of you.

Also, if someone hits you in a car, you have a right to be a little angry. Same goes for someone hitting you while you’re walking. The occasional shoulder nudge as two people quickly pass each other can sometimes be frustrating, but most of the time, it’s easy to shrug off and forget. But, when someone runs into you because they were a.) texting b.) talking on their phone c.) talking to someone walking beside them d.) looking at the ground or e.) generally just not paying attention, it can make you really angry. Especially when. . . THEY DON’T APOLOGIZE.

Seriously, I’ve experienced this more on college campuses than anywhere else, but there will be these kids texting and not even bothering to look up from their stupid iPhones and then BAM! They run into you, and they don’t even have the courtesy to look at you afterward, much less apologize for their rude action. They just continue on their way, staring down at their phone without looking up, as if nothing ever happened.

Then, there are the people who are too incompetent to pay attention to the movement of the person walking in a different direction. If someone is coming at me in a different direction, I always make sure to see if they’re going straight, if they’re swerving to the right or left, or if they’re going to make room for me, and then move accordingly. It gets frustrating when I’m walking one direction, someone is coming a different direction, and we’re both in our prospective lanes without me deviating from my straight course, and then in the end, they switch their direction and almost bump into me, and then we have to do that awkward “Which Way Do I Go?” dance.

Also, in the same way driving can be competitive (as in, a car cuts you off or goes faster than you and then you retaliate or start going faster than them), walking can be competitive. This could also be because I am just a competitive person and make competitions out of literally everything, but it could also be a common thing. When someone is walking behind me, and I feel them gaining on me, it hurts my fast-walking pride, so I hasten my pace. If they pass me going a lightning speed that I could not even hope to achieve, then I just glare at their backs and determine that the next time, they won’t pass me so easily.

In summary, the reasons why walking is a lot like driving:

1. Two lanes

2. Fast walkers

3. Slow walkers

4. People who don’t know how to walk (and I don’t mean this literally, obviously)

5. Tailgating

6. Sidewalk Rage

7. Accidents

8. Competition


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