Unlike roads, other public spaces such as walkways, footpaths and shopping centre malls do not have clearly delineated lanes to provide for the organised two-way flow of human traffic. However it is always important to remember that regardless of your own direction of travel, other people may in fact need to travel somewhere completely different.
It can be surprising to think that other people may have different travel requirements to your own, but it is simply something that must be accepted. Aside from people moving in the opposite direction to you, you will also encounter people wishing to move diagonally and even perpendicularly to your own line of travel. This is nothing to be alarmed by.
Please refer to the following guidelines which will assist you to master the perilous world of pedestrian travel:
- Ensure you do not walk in the middle of a walking area, as it can make it difficult for other pedestrians to have enough space to walk around you.
- Always be mindful of others walking needs and do not arrogantly or defensively assume that you have the right to commandeer the entire walk space.
- Never walk three abreast unless your specific circumstances require it, for example if you are patrolling as a member of the defence or police force, or if you are performing in a marching band. The maximum acceptable side-by-side people limit is two and even then this must be adjusted depending on the specific circumstances. At all times two way flow of traffic should be possible, so you may have to drop down to one person wide for a while to allow for the passage of other people.
- People walk at different speeds, and sometimes you may be in the slow lane. Always ensure sufficient overtaking space for people who want to get to where they’re going a little quicker than you. Be sure to take into account space taken up by such things as shopfronts, market stalls, seats, posts, light poles.
- It is not appropriate to use your trolley, shopping bag, umbrella, backpack or other appendages to slow human traffic or take up too much space in a ‘lane’.
- One further guideline regarding walking speed. At times you may find yourself in the fast lane walking too slowly. You will notice that the flow of human traffic behind you is being impeded. Similar to driving on the motorway, please move back into the slow lane unless you are overtaking.
There should be no need to resort to elbowing people in the ribs, jostling or shoving. All that is required is to make sufficient space allowances for multi-directional pedestrian flow.