There are some unwritten rules of the road when it comes to pedestrians in New York City. People move fast, and this is the normal pace. Giving way to faster
walkers is expected. And like the road, the slower traffic, which is still fast,
is expected to stay on the right. This especially is important for stairs and
escalators where others in even more of a hurry will want to pass on the left.
Standing on the escalator is about the only place that stopping is acceptable.
Stairways,doorways and middle sidewalk areas, are not acceptable standing locations.In fact, it’s expected to let people out of doorways before entering.
And of course always use crosswalks, and keep an eye out for bicycle traffic.
- Abiding by New York City’s unwritten pedestrian rules is a matter of safety at times, and stopping unexpectedly in the middle of the flow of foot traffic could cause an injury
- When riding an escalator, always make sure to stand on the right side and do not obstruct the left side with items like shopping bags, suitcases, etc.
- Even if you are walking somewhere with family or friends, you must leave room on the sidewalk for others and generally will not be able to walk side-by-side with one another
“We treat sidewalks like streets for feet in NYC and since we don’t drive on the left side of the street, we also don’t walk on the left side of the sidewalk, unless we’re passing someone who’s moving too slowly on the right.”