There are certain rules I have set for myself to follow as a pedestrian that are important to me. I often remind myself of them especially on the weekends, as that is when I am out and about the most. All of us are different, having our own certain rules and respects to the roads and even sidewalks, however, that doesn't mean we all can't have some rules and respects to one another to ensure some sort of trust in valuing in each other's lives or welfare... right?
I have chosen my pedestrian rules as oppose to my rules for being a biker, driver, or even a transit user as I am most often on my feet to get somewhere anyway and therefore am reminding myself of my rules more frequently as a pedestrian.
-enjoy my music while also keeping attention to others, even drivers.
-keeping a watchful eye in front and over my shoulders
-cell phone is for when I am safely in a shop, on a bench, or in a safe spot on the sidewalks or paths
-be courteous and walk around others
I may enjoy my music and appear to live with my headphones on all the time, however, I am aware of how music makes me daydream easily and distract me from paying attention to the signal lights on the city streets, pedestrian walks or shared pathways with bikers, runners and other folks. Therefore, daydreaming is for the buses and trains, and if I wish to continue feeling carefree to listen to music I must also pay attention to other humans, and that rule includes my phone too. I save the phone for when I have safely crossed the path or road I have taken and am off to side out of everyone else's way, or in a shop, or even sitting down on a bench. If I am not paying attention I could get injured by drivers and others who are not (prevention), or I may cause an incident.
Keeping an eye on the roads and sidewalks or other pathways both at the front of me and over my shoulder. This is important to me in areas with high volumes of other folk who could also be running or even biking. I often stick to the sides to make it easier for others who are faster than me to pass by. I I like to keep watching out for others to politely walk around, or make it easier for bikers to pass. I am even looking back and forth on the roads constantly for vehicles even when the pedestrian sign is flashing as that also means other drivers often are allowed to go too and they may have to turn in my direction, and though they do have to wait for us walkers I still keep an eye on them. I like to think of it as my version of defensive walking. Even though pedestrians have the right of way, not all drivers are paying attention as they should and it could mean the difference between my soft watery body keeping safe and their ton-sized vehicles getting too close. I watch, and make sure I am still not about to get hit, and gesture (no not the way you are thinking) if they are out of line for trying to either make me nervous to walk faster by drawing closer, or honking or anything like that. I ensure I report incidences as required. Someone almost hit me once for not looking both ways, and their look of fear and guilt was enough for me to lead me to think they thought twice about looking both ways, however, the other pedestrians did not think so and three of them reported what they saw. Lesson learned I hope.
As for cellular devices well... I have probably seen just as many pedestrians as drivers absorbed in their cell phones when they should be paying attention to their surroundings. I reserve cellular use for the time I said above. It's just safer really.
As for walking around others.. well that's obvious. Especially if it is anyone older than I, people with children, people carrying lots of things (heavy load of groceries) and I can maneuver easily around. Otherwise if my arms are full and I am slow moving, or paths and stairs in public places are narrow and I was kind of there first to one side, I am going to have to expect others to do the same for me (walk around me) in those instances. Or I hope they do.
Copyright 2015 Lucky 33: Stories, Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions of a Woman Who Made To Her Thirties.