Public Interest Courtesy Rule #2

features_gr_umbrellas.jpgWhen 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.umbrella.jpg

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.


  1. yash

    you have no idea how irritated I would be in mumbai during the rains because I had to walk through the busy streets with everybody holding an umbrella. it was mad! if these things are taken into consideration by more of the population, it would be a better place to live.

  2. Tisha

    Thanks for coming by my blog Tracey and I really like this piece on the use of umbrellas especially the “Please take note of your umbrella’s circumference when fully opened”! Almost got my eye poked out recently!!


  3. Allison

    I so agree with these rules – if only people would follow them!

    The worst offenders are the ones with the golf/beach umbrellas. Most of the people using those are so thin that they could fit 5-6 people under the umbrella with them.

  4. Jenn

    You’ve taken all the fun out of a rainy day.

  5. Tracey

    YASH – I don’t know how you’d contain your frustrations in such a busy place! It’s bad enough here in Australia where the crowds are barely anything in comparison. I still manage to get irritated though.

    TISHA – I too have come close to losing an eye via an umbrella. People really just need to be more considerate.

    ALLISON – I know!! The people with those huge umbrellas really need to think about how ridiculous they are. They simply take up WAY too much space!! I don’t think we’re asking too much!

  6. Nico

    Life would be much easier if the rules were obeyed!

    I’d add another one…”If you have an umbrella with a large metal spike on the tip, please do not swing it backwards and forwards as you walk, as other pedestrians are unlikely to enjoy being stabbed in the thigh.”

    (It’s happened to me).

  7. The Artist

    Great guidelines for using an umbrella. Thanks for your lovely comment, with best wishes, The Artist

  8. Terrapreata

    This is really cute, Tracey, I thought i was an amusing piece, but it sounds like everyone else is taking it pretty seriosly. I suppose that’s just because I both Do not live in the city and Do Not use umbrellas. What can I say , I won’t melt 😉

    Thanks for commenting on Rocky Horror!


  9. yash

    great one nico. too bad for you.. hope you recovered soon.

  10. Bitchg0ddess

    Hello Tracey. Thanks for the nice comment on my blog. I got that from an article written by Osho. Love is truly complicated, and in order for us really enjoy it, we should endure all the pain it entails.

    By the way, nice guidelines on using an umbrella! =)

  11. Maritza

    Finally! Somebody lays down the unspoken umbrella laws! Blogmad hit and vote!

  12. Tracey

    JENN – Hey, I’m all for having fun in rainy weather!! Go nuts!

    NICO – So true. I’ve often been nearly stabbed by someone swinging a deathly umbrella spike. You have to wonder how people don’t realise that other people are walking by!!

    THE ARTIST – Thanks for stopping by. I needed a vent!!

    TERRAPREATA – Thanks for your comments. Really the post is all very tongue in cheek, hopefully the humour comes through. Sometimes city life can be very frustrating. I personally love the rain and am happy walking out in it. Other people just ruin it for me!!

    BITCHG0DDESS- Thanks for passing by. I’ll come back to your site soon!!

    MARITZA – I’m glad you liked them. Now if we can only get them passed by government… 8)

  13. MC

    I am an umbrella sharer. If myself and someone else who does not have an umbrella are heading in the same direction I offer them part of the shelter.

  14. Tracey

    MC – Very nice of you!! We need more little nice actions like this in the world.

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