I think I genuinely do suffer at times from the walking equivalent of road rage (or pavement rage as I shall now call it) and I thought I'd go through some of my major walking bug bears - I'm hoping some will ring a bell with you as it'll make me feel less like a complete miser and more like a normal person if other people agree!
OK so I have a confession to make. As well as getting 'pavement rage' I also think I may be guilty of being the walking equivalent of a boy racer. I do walk pretty fast, which I guess comes from the amount of walking I do and also the fact that it's usually my commute.
When I get stuck behind people walking slowly it drives me absolutely bonkers - if I'm out for a stroll it's not so bad, but if I'm doing my walk to work or am trying to get somewhere for a certain time I really cannot stand it. I basically 'tailgate' people until I can get past.
The picture shows the place on my walk where this happens the most. There's only really room to walk in single file through this tunnel, so if someone is going slowly in front of you and there are people coming the other way, it's pretty much impossible to overtake. I find myself hovering behind people waiting for a gap in the oncoming people so that I can make my move.
So yes, people of London, please speed up!
I know, I know, apparently cyclists are allowed to do this now. I wouldn't mind if they did it at places where there are no pedestrians crossing, and I'm sure that many cyclists are considerate of pedestrians, but the number of times I've waited at a pedestrian crossing and then the green man has come on and I've nearly been run down by a cyclist as I try to cross. I mean come on people - it's called a pedestrian crossing for a reason!
3. Drivers who go through red lights
Need I say more? I'd love to say this never happens, but I see it at least two or three times a week. It's dangerous, really dangerous, and it means that you can't trust the crossings. I always check before I cross, but it never ceases to leave me fuming when someone does this.
4. People cycling on the pavement
What really gets me about this is that people who do it seem to think that you should get out of their way because they are on a bike. It's a pavement, you know, for pedestrians. If you are too scared to cycle on the road then bloody well walk!
5. People not looking where they are going
Please look up and stop looking at your phone! I've had to dodge out of the way of people so many times because they just weren't looking where they were going and usually are taking up the entire pavement.
6. Groups of people who force you off the pavement
This is a frustrating one, as I can't help thinking it should just be a case a common courtesy. I'll be walking along towards a group of people who are taking up the whole pavement and coming the other way. They can clearly see me, they must be able to see that there is no space for me to pass them, and yet none of them drop behind to let me pass.
Instead I end up being forced into the road to get past them, which just seems ridiculous. I mean is it really that hard to politely let someone pass you by on the pavement? I don't think it is.
7. Drivers who wave you across the road when there is no traffic behind them
I know this is perhaps a bit unfair, as I realise that drivers who do this are genuinely trying to be nice, but the thing is I think it actually wastes more of both my time and theirs.
Picture the scene, I'm about to cross a relatively quiet road, perhaps at a junction, there's one car coming, with nothing behind it. It's light outside, which reflects off the car windscreen, so I can't really see inside the car. The car stops and I can't tell if it's stopping to let me cross or not so I hesitate. I can't actually see the driver waving until they practically stick their hand on the windscreen which makes it more visible. By this point, if they had just carried on, we would both have been on our way.
In the end, I realise what they are doing and scuttle across the road apologetically feeling bad that I delayed them. It really isn't that helpful to anyone.
And last but not least...
8. Drivers who go through zebra crossings when you are waiting to cross
Similar to number 3 really - often I have to take my life in my hands and actually walk out onto the crossing to get the drivers to stop. In fact, now when people do stop I feel obliged to thank them, even though they are supposed to!
So, I think that concludes my current list of walking bug bears. I'm sure I may think of more as time goes on, but I think this is more than enough for now. Perhaps next time I'd better write about things I really love about walking in the city, as I wouldn't want you to think it's all doom and gloom!
If you have walking bug bears it'd be great to hear them, so add your comment below.
Happy Walking (for the most part)!