Respect Sidewalk Etiquette For Runners

  • Graphic Jennifer Aedy

Montreal, I’m begging you to get out of my way.

We’ve got social etiquette for bike lanes, crosswalks and even escalators—we are the only city I’ve ever visited with its escalator game on point—but we suck at sidewalks.

Yesterday, I almost got flattened by a Honda Civic because I had to dash around a pair of people holding hands, Publicly Displaying their Affection. They didn’t move as I awkwardly chugged towards them in slow motion. (Note: not actual slow motion, I just run slow.) I lost the game of pedestrian chicken. I stepped off of the curb—that was when the Civic rounded the corner. If I’m going to die in a case of vehicular manslaughter, there’s no way in hell I’m going down flattened by a Honda.

This blatant lack of courtesy for sidewalk sharing needs to end. This is Canada: it’s a point of national pride that we’re polite, goddammit. That just makes it even more baffling that people don’t make room for someone who’s kicking their own ass.

Even when I come up behind you, you can step aside. I know you can hear me; my running breathing is like a predator slasher in a B-grade horror film.

I’ll gladly move around the elderly, strollers, wheelchairs and anyone else who can’t otherwise. I’m talking to the able-bodied ambulators, chain smoking and refusing to make the minimal effort it takes to step aside.

Running’s hard enough to do in a straight line, let alone around everyone who thinks they personally own the sidewalk. If I wanted an obstacle course, I’d sign up for the Spartan Race. I’m just trying to crack out my daily dash and get home so I can binge watch Netflix. I’m begging you, step up, or step off.

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