Liverpool, England is the first city to implement a “Fast Track” lane for pedestrians that just can’t even deal with slowpokes. Popular retailer Argos funded a study that revealed 47 percent of citizens see those who meander lazily on sidewalks of busy shopping centers as their number one pet peeve. In response, Argos embarked on a weeklong experiment last week, painting a fast lane for passersby right outside one of its busy storefronts.
The data gathered by the study painted a picture of the most significant grievances of British city-dwellers, with “pavement hoggers, dawdling pedestrians, and battling through crowds” coming out on top. Independent retail expert Dr. Alastair Moore has reportedly said, “As the research demonstrates, a faster high street could vastly improve the overall shopping experience for British shoppers across the UK.”
Urban folk around the world can relate to the UK’s frustration. Just this year, NYC’s East Village residents noticed an official-looking bulletin by the make-believe “New York City Department of Pedestrian Etiquette” alerting newcomers that they must pass a class on the subject or be kicked out of the Big Apple. It’s uncertain as to whether official “fast track” policies will be adopted by city governments, but in the meantime we could all benefit from taking “pedestrian etiquette” a bit more seriously.