Torero sidewalk etiquette

If you haven’t already noticed the six-foot fences on both sides of Marian Way, you will. Surely, you’ve noticed the thousands of Toreros that spawned out of nowhere? At least that’s what it seems like on the sidewalks these days. The expansion of the Colachis Plaza is the newest construction project at the University of San Diego, and it has re-opened an ongoing topic of conversation: sidewalk etiquette.

With much of the construction cutting into space previously open to pedestrians, it is no secret that students and faculty are finding it more difficult getting to classes on time with the high foot traffic.

The amount of people walking on either side of the fences has increased significantly. It doesn’t help that the sidewalks are only a few feet wide and traffic during peak pedestrian hours seems to have increased due to parking constraints and the popularity of the West Parking Lot.

Students and faculty admit that the number people they encounter on their daily trek to class has indeed multiplied, which has only exacerbated their lack of sidewalk etiquette.

Senior Jhonnatan Chinchilla mentioned his frustration with the pedestrians who stop and chat in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking other students.

“[The pedestrians] need to get on the grass,” Chinchilla said. “There is no way they could stop in the middle of the sidewalk and talk; they have to mindful that people are behind them.”

Chinchilla went on to say that seeing too many familiar faces in such a short time frame can be burdensome and take up valuable class commuting time.

“It is horrible,” Chinchilla said. “People just walk to their class and can’t say a word to their friends because you can’t suddenly stop and say, ‘What’s up?’”

Senior Max Cardinale spoke about the difficulties of navigating the sidewalks quickly.

“There are always people in front that are walking slow and taking up the entire lane, instead of moving off to the right in case someone’s trying to go by,” Cardinale said. “It’s definitely annoying.”

Senior Kylie Bijelic admitted that she sees more people in school in less time.

“I think it’s great we get to see the beautiful faces of every single student,” Bijelic said. “It happens in a span of 10 minutes.”

However, when common courtesy begins to diminish and road rage is in full effect, car drivers still have to abide by certain rules. Why shouldn’t pedestrians?

When it comes to getting across campus, there are some unwritten rules that Toreros should follow. Though we don’t often think about it, we’re constantly making decisions that coordinate with others’ rules, especially when we walk around Alcalá Park.

We should aim to behave as though people who know what we’re doing, not like pinballs bouncing frenetically off the flippers. Plus, bumping into others will not score you any bonus points.

Here are five suggestions for beginning or expanding your sidewalk etiquette:

1. Don’t stop and chat in the middle of the sidewalk. 

Just don’t do it. Students and faculty are trying to get their class or meeting on time. If they are power walking to their destination and you suddenly stop, they might bump into you. If you absolutely must talk to someone, pull to the margins or grass area, but make sure you’re not obstructing someone else’s path. Be considerate and at least put your blinker on.

2. Stick to your right. 

In an odd imitation of car traffic, folks seem to have quietly decided that it was ideal if everyone agreed on one side of the street—their relative right—toward their direction of travel. Unless you want to unleash havoc on the sidewalks, don’t be the person who tries to stroll on the wild wild left.

3. Keep a good speed. 

We’re not all Olympic power-walkers, but try to maintain a good speed and make way for everyone who might need assistance up and down Marian Way. It takes two to tango, and, just like the traditional Argentinian dance, pedestrian traffic has a rhythm. Fall behind, and you’ll soon find that someone is tailgating you.

4. Don’t tailgate, and look where you’re going.

Even if you think you’re pretty darn good at multitasking, truth is, it makes you a less-attentive Torero. Texting and driving is never okay, and neither is texting and walking.

5. Don’t walk with your entire crew. 

The sidewalk is only a few feet wide. It’s understandable, and groups probably don’t intend to clog up the foot traffic flow, but they certainly drag the pattern.

Construction is scheduled to continue until August. Let’s make the transition time a bit smoother by making good transit decisions on the sidewalks. Your fellow Torero walking behind you will thank you.

Sincerely, the fellow Torero walking behind you.

Written by: Diego Luna