When the weather turns inclement and you reach for your umbrella please be mindful of other pedestrians and fellow umbrella users. At all times you must remember that other people will need to use the footpath / sidewalk / road crossing and you must take into account the additional space taken up by your opened umbrella and make appropriate adjustments to your personal space measurements.
Some guidelines to aid you in your use of umbrellas:
- Please avoid the use of golf / beach umbrellas or oversized corporate umbrellas in general within the city. Akin to the use of 4WD vehicles in urban areas, a city is no place for these behemoth contraptions. Plenty of other more compact options exist which are eminently more practical for city use.
- Please take note of your umbrella’s circumference when fully opened. This is to ensure you are able to avoid poking the eyes out of fellow walkers and should be a common courtesy extended at all times.
- Never use your umbrella as a battering ram to push / shove / jostle pedestrians out of your way. Other people have just as much right to walking space as you and they will not take kindly to such ill treatment.
- When walking under building awnings / bus shelters or other covers which protect you from being rained on, please remember that use of your umbrella is no longer required and it can therefore be compressed. Umbrella compression is necessary to ensure that other people do not look at you like you’re crazy and also so you do not unnecessarily take up space under sheltered areas.
There is one final consideration you must be mindful of.
That is, to remind yourself that rain can strike unexpectedly and not everyone may be as prepared as you in having remembered to pack an umbrella. As much as is practicable please ensure that these umbrella-less people are ceded the right of way as they have a vested interest in reaching sheltered areas as quickly as possible.
Unlike you who have your own portable shelter, these people have to utilise whatever shelter is offered by the cityscape. Try not to block their way by walking side by side with other umbrella users, or by walking agonisingly slowly for no reason.
After all rain should bring peace to the land, not war.