NYC Street Walking Rules

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NYC street walking rules, the three tomatoesNo we are not talking about the ones in mini skirts and stilettos who hang out by the tunnels.   The Three Tomatoes are talking about every day walkers in New York City.   We are a city of walkers.  For most of us, this is not a leisurely pursuit, but a necessary and often preferred mode of transportation.  And now that summer is here and people are not rushing to get out of the cold, the sidewalks are jammed. They are jammed with fast walkers, slow walkers, four abreast walkers, tourist walker gawkers, and the oblivious cell phone walkers.   And then there are the bicycle delivery people who choose the sidewalks as their route, or the bicyclists who fly down one-way streets the wrong way just as you’re in the cross walk.   These are surpassed in annoyance only by the groups of office smokers who are not only clogging the walkway, but also filling your lungs with their smoke as you try to get past them.  It’s chaos out there.  What we need are a few rules of the street.   Here are our suggestions.

  1. Highway rules:  The rules of the road should apply to the sidewalks of New York.   If you are walking to get to your destination quickly, you ought to be able to cruise straight up the middle of the street, bypassing all.  Slow walkers and walker gawkers should immediately move to the right and get the hell out of our way.  And instead of horns, maybe we should think about using cattle prods.
  1. Golf umbrellas:  They have become lethal weapons and should be banned from the streets of New York. They are typically carried around by a dangerously short person who has never been anywhere near a golf course and just forges down the street oblivious to the fact that they  poked out the eyes of several innocent bystanders along the way.   Hello out there.  There is a reason they are called golf umbrellas.
  1. Four-abreast: Unless you are the Rockets, holding arms and walking four abreast down the street will incur our serious wrath.
  1. Tourists:  We love you.  Just do not get in our way.  Next time you stop dead in the middle of the sidewalk, we will smash your digital cameras.  Suggestion No. 3 applies to you as well.
  1. Cell phone talker walkers:  They are the ones who sort of weave down the sidewalk and just as you are about to pass them, they lurch into your lane.  And then you are stuck behind them for two or three blocks listening to their saga of the bad date the night before, the scream fest at a spouse or kid, or the detailed description of their colonoscopy.  If you can not walk and talk at the same time you need to stop walking or talking.
  1. Cycling on the sidewalks, or wrong way cycling should be a hanging offense.
  1. Mid-day joggers are almost as bad as the cyclers.  If you can not jog early in the morning, then head to the park or the wonderful East River and Hudson River jogging paths that the City has done such a great job developing. That is what they are there for.
  1. And last the smoker congregators.   Yes we know you have been forced out onto the streets because you have nowhere else to go, and as former smokers we actually feel kind of sorry for you out there in rain, sleet, hail, snow and heat.   But please, we do not want to walk through your group cloud.

So here is our message to the offenders.   Be afraid.   Be very, very afraid.   There is a city full of tomatoes armed with cattle prods.


  • Cheryl Benton

    The tomato behind The Three Tomatoes. Cheryl Benton, aka the “head tomato” is founder and publisher of The Three Tomatoes, a digital lifestyle magazine for “women who aren’t kids”. Having lived and worked for many years in New York City, the land of size zero twenty-somethings, she was truly starting to feel like an invisible woman. She created The Three Tomatoes just for the fun of it as the antidote for invisibility and sent it to 60 friends. Today she has thousands of friends and is chief cheerleader for smart, savvy women who want to live their lives fully at every age and every stage. She is the author of the novel, "Can You See Us Now?" and co-author of a humorous books of quips, "Martini Wisdom." Because she's lived a long time, her full bio won't fit here. If you want the "blah, blah, blah", read more.

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