One of the things that’s really impressed me being in Toronto is the relative orderliness of pedestrians. I used to think people standing on the right of the escalators in the London Underground was the absolute peak of humanity’s capacity for order and politeness (ignoring the rest of London streets which are a mess) but coming here is something else.
Of course, there are the escalators in the subways. People stand on the right to allow people to run up the left but it doesn’t stop at subway escalators. People even walk up the right side of the stairs, rather than advancing as one amorphous mass that eventually meets another amorphous mass coming the other way.
People walk on the ride side of the footpath and on the right side of pedestrian crossings. And if you happen to find yourself on the left, you quickly know you’re in the wrong, that you’re somehow going against the natural order of things.
Compared to London, Perth, and New York, it’s a dream come true.
But when you add tourists to the mix, it all falls apart.
Which is probably why London and New York are just a mess. People coming from all over the world, bringing their own idea of order (or lack thereof) and just wandering aimlessly over footpaths, stairwells and hallways. Madness!
Though, to be honest, I’m probably giving people too much credit. I doubt many people are as orderly as the Canadians, or as considerate, so it probably comes down to, “Bugger off, this is my space and I’ll do whatever the hell I like with it.”
And as Satre said, “Hell is other people.”