Habitat: Subway corridors and stairways, crowded sidewalks at rush hour
Description: Often times, New Yorkers criticize tourists for enveloping entire sidewalks in mayhem, forcing normal seasoned pedestrians to the fringe of the sidewalks, and even into the street in the myriad tourist traps of New York City. However, during rush hour, many New Yorkers seem to forget that it is their responsibility to set an example.
Example: every morning, I walk between the 4/5/6 and N/Q/R/W platforms in Union Square station. And nearly every one of those mornings, I am faced with an overflow of commuters pouring off a downtown train. Do they move to the right, like the MTA tells them to? No, of course not. Instead, they take over every square inch of walking space faster than a flash flood. The corridor is at least 30 feet wide, but this stream of inconsiderate commuters occupy all 30 feet of horizontal clearance (of course, who said New Yorkers were ever considerate?). I, travelling towards the platform they’re all coming from, end up dodging commuters around me like salmon struggling up the Columbia River. The scramble from left to right resembles a game of Frogger – and at $2.00 a pop, it’s an expensive game of Frogger, too.
Where is the outrage? Why do we not express our resentment towards these impediments of pedestrian traffic flow the same way we resent their cousins from St. Louis or Sacramento? Maybe we fear getting punched in the face. But I can’t imagine being punched in the face is any worse than getting run over by a morbidly obese office worker who will steer clear of no one.
Rating on the Peevery Scale: