Street Etiquette 101: 7 Simple Rules to Walking the Streets of NYC Like an Absolute Pro

"Where we're going, we don't need roads" is both an iconic 80's pop culture quote and a large misconception about New York's specific street etiquette. 

Don't let the fact most people here don't own cars fool you; the rules of the road apply when walking the New York City streets, as well. 

In fact, they're nearly identical to the driving rules, and are just as important to adhere to avoid accidents-- or mostly, dirty looks. 

They should always be strictly followed. 

Consider these 7 tips your road map to our great city's countless, and often treacherous, thoroughfares. Now be safe out there. 


1. For God's sake, stay in your lane 

image

Specifically, this means keeping to the right. It's simple: the same way you wouldn't drive into on-coming traffic, don't walk into it. 

[anad]

It's a game of chicken you want no part of -- this is New York, they'll run you right over and not look back. 


2. Don't come to a complete stop 

image

Would you ever come to a complete stop on an interstate out of nowhere? No, because you will get rear-ended and cause a huge pile-up, right? 

We don't feel we need to elaborate further. 


3. This isn't Red Rover

image

Sometimes, we wish it was. 

Because when we come across a group of people who are creating an actual human chain across the sidewalk, all we want to do is getting a running start and bust right through them, hopefully knocking a couple people to the ground in the process. 

That's how mind-numbingly annoying these types of walkers are. 

Don't. Do. It.  


4. Slow walkers: pull off to the side if you're being tailed 

image

In cars, you can flash your brights. In New York, you can just flash. 

Kidding! 

Although, that would probably get people to stop in their tracks. If you'd like to be courteous without committing a crime, simply step to the side if you feel people closing in behind you. 


5. Bike lane = emergency lane

image

On a highway, the emergency lanes are primarily only used by cops that are rushing to an accident. 

Consider the bike lane your "in case of emergency" route; only use it if you're desperate to get around the annoying people in list item #3. 

Otherwise, best to stay out of that bad boy. The bikers will not appreciate it, and neither will you when you get hit by one. 


6. Look up from your phone

image

We're sure that text, email, Tinder message is riveting and can't possibly wait until post-stroll... 

[anad2]

But, hey, can you maybe just check-in with your surroundings every now and then? We would all appreciate it. 


7. Try to keep your, um, baggage to a minimum 

image

Special shout-out to the oversized rolling luggage that takes up half the sidewalk. 

Take a cab, guy. 

Check out 17 More Things New Yorkers Do That Make No Sense

[Feature Image Courtesy: Crasstalk]

get spoiled in your inbox

recent