Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Hooray! "Tourists" Lane Proposed for NYC Sidewalks

SIDEWALKFifth Avenue and 22nd Street, New York city. Photo by Mark Armstrong.

86 Comments / Post A Comment

saythatscool (#101)

But where are the poseurs supposed to go?!?

KarenUhOh (#19)

Each cohort studiously eschews the correct lane.

6h057 (#1,914)

Actually, the only way to get from New Jersey into New York is to cross over double yellow lines. So what's one more traffic device to ignore?


6h057 (#1,914)

You know those bike lanes are less of a buffer and more of a target, right?


City_Dater (#2,500)

"Tourists" lane needs to be wider. They walk four abreast (minimum) at all times, often looking directly upward or into shop windows instead of where they are going, so eye-level signage is probably also necessary.

I was thinking it needs to be wider even if they walk two abreast.

Face (#3,654)

We walk four abreast because we're pheasant hunting. How else are you supposed to scare up the fowl? Sheesh.

Abe Sauer (#148)

But then the egos wouldn't fit in the NYer lane.

HiredGoons (#603)

@Abe: we have the West Side Highway.

saythatscool (#101)

What? No bridge and tunnel? Where's the love?

6h057 (#1,914)

We gave them the Meat Packing District and Chelsea. WHAT MORE CAN WE GIVE?!?!?!

saythatscool (#101)

How about a musical that wasn't cloyingly written or a underage hooker that still accepts Discover Card?

6h057 (#1,914)

How dare you insult the Lion King or Justin Bieber…

Ronit (#1,557)

I'd like an extra skinny lane for Brooklynites.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

Does this mean I need to carry paperwork with me at all times? Or does the proper attitude allow you to walk in the NYer lane?

Tourists from Arizona will presumably already be carrying proper paperwork.

saythatscool (#101)

@setec: As should those who may be suspected of being from Arizona.

My US passport says I was born in NY, NY. Something like that is usually adequate.

As long as you're not wearing a niqab, it's cool.

I would forgive Bloomberg for everything if he would actually do this.

Peteykins (#1,916)

I'll be happier when they do that with escalators.

Stand on the right, mutherfuckers, before I cut you!

sunnyciegos (#551)

Come to DC. Stand on the left side of the metro escalator and WE WILL CUT YOU.

deepomega (#1,720)

AGH. Yes. No other city I have been to understands how motherfucking escalators work. I've actually got a big ol' ring with "STAND RIGHT WALK LEFT" imprinted into it backwards, so I can punch lessons into faces.

cherrispryte (#444)

Oh how I love yelling at tourists on metro escalators.

Bittersweet (#765)

On a few DC escalators, standing on the correct side could be the difference between life and death. Metro Center, anyone?

Peteykins (#1,916)

I'm sensing a trend here.

Van Buren Boy (#1,233)

I prefer to have my rage at those standing on the right bottled up inside only to surface years later in a murderous rage. Seems like a good plan.

chevre4evre (#3,871)

Here in London, adequate signage and threat of knife violence mean that most people comply with basic elevator etiquette.

chevre4evre (#3,871)

And by elevator I clearly mean escalator.

sunnyciegos (#551)

@Krugman: Holy smokes.

Yipes. I think it has something to do with the sheer ginormity of the Metro escalators. You have hours and hours to steam at these sessile beings from flyover country.

Bittersweet (#765)

Developing vertigo helps. I'm too busy trying to control a panic attack to be mad at the rube standing to my left.

mrschem (#1,757)

I had to look up 'sessile.' Thats a keeper.

deepomega (#1,720)

I'd prefer airport-style moving sidewalks for the tourists.

HiredGoons (#603)

I was going to say…

iplaudius (#1,066)

Also useful for impromptu dance numbers.

Or something like the moving-bin system they have at B&H, picking tourists up by the collar and depositing them at the W.

kingdiamond (#3,211)

Because tourists are so slow and annoying, right?!!?!? LOL!

Because I TOTALLY have NEVER been trapped walking at a slime mold's pace behind a languorously weaving, sexting, blathering, generally oblivious "New Yorker" on the sidewalk.

You do have something of a point. Perhaps the lane should read, "Tourists / Blackberry Zombies"

cherrispryte (#444)

Why don't they just do it like the lap lanes at public swimming pools, and put those cones that say "slow" and "fast" at the end of each block?

kneetoe (#1,881)

Does the tourist lane lead to the egress?

saythatscool (#101)

A human soul is not to be trifled with. It may inhabit the body of a Chinaman, a Turk, a New Jerseyan or a Hotentot, but it is still an immortal spirit!

griph (#5,009)

The tourists' lane should have a sign indicating that it is, in fact, okay to come to a sudden and complete stop in the middle of a midtown sidewalk at 5 PM. No. It's really totally cool.

If Homeland Security was smart they'd put in "car bomb only" parking spots. Then, if one saw a car park there that would indicate that it was a car bomb and a would-be terrorist was behind the wheel. Then, one could call 911 and the police/FBI could save the day. USA. USA. Oh wait, no one would notice the terrorist parking the car because the tourists are looking up at buildings and through their backpacks and the New Yorkers are posting to their Tumblr or texting their weed dealer. Nevermind.

kneetoe (#1,881)

Right, and what's next, only buses in the bus-only lane?

(ps, An excellent argument I once heard made when working on NYC transit issues: Light rail works better than buses because people are a bit more reluctant to drive/double park on train tracks.)

I'm digging this sort of vigilantism.

On my way to work, right at Madison Square Park (5th/B/way), I pass a stencil near the curb with two foot prints, sightlines pointed at the Flatiron Building, with the caption "Cliche Photo".

mrschem (#1,757)

That is brilliant. The best I could come up with was putting smiley faces on hydrants. You know, for the dogs.

Multiphasic (#411)

In high school, a friend went after the "PREVENT RUNAWAYS" signs in Pacific Heights by stickering over "CURB YOUR WHEELS" with "LOCK THEM IN THE BASEMENT".

Rod T (#33)

Now if you can just get something for the four-astride Sex-and-the-City airheads.

HiredGoons (#603)

brass knuckles?


saythatscool (#101)

Net traps?

deepomega (#1,720)

Bamboo spike pits?

Poison the cranberry juice supply?

Tuna Surprise (#573)

@CF: Do NOT mess with a woman's urinary tract infection cure. Those Jezzies will cut you.

HiredGoons (#603)

Who says New Yorkers aren't friendly!?

cuiveen (#370)

Can we have a stroller lane? In the street, perhaps?

Now here is an idea I can literally get behind. Being locked in step behind oblivious tourist couples or — worse — clueless families that can never quite hear my "excuse me's" on a NYC sidewalk is what can only be properly construed as a central nervous system depressant. Please make this happen.

KenWheaton (#401)

The New Yorker lane could have little reminders that say, "Hey there. We know it's not cool, but it wouldn't kill you to look up every once in a while and check out the buildings and architecture. It WAS one of the reasons you moved here. Heck, maybe make eye contact with a fellow New Yorker or two. Go on and take a moment to merge over into the other lane, take a deep breath, take in your surroundings, then merge back over and speed along your way. Now. Don't you feel better?"

Br. Seamus (#217)

In that case, I'd demand a third "natives only" lane. Keep them Dead Rabbits out.

KenWheaton (#401)

"Natives" "Residents" "Tourists" "Confused Old People" "Incompetent terrorists" … what else … we need six lanes. "Jersey"?

Ronit (#1,557)

"Hipsters", "I Banker Douchebags With Blackberries", "Park Slope Yuppies with Doublewide Strollers"

swizzard (#329)

It's great because now the cops have a place to park their gigantic vans on the sidewalk, cause clearly the bike lanes weren't commodious enough.

s0upStain (#2,152)

"Because tourists are so slow and annoying, right?!!?!? LOL!"

brad (#1,678)

wow. i'm sure that i won't be coming to your fair city. which, i imagine, brings new yorkers no small sense of joy. i suppose that the next logical step would be to sequester tourists in glass buses the moment they step off the plane and drive them through letting them off in large, well-decorated cages to mill about before being whisked away to the next designated milling area! neat!

Ideally, glass buses with the 70% window tint allowed by NY law.

They've been doing this for years now.

propertius (#361)

We have smoking, London reject double-deckers. Some with the top sawed off.

HiredGoons (#603)

please advise others!

I couldn't agree more with this, and I study town planning in England. As a regular visitor to New York, I feel your pain when tourists stand in the middle of the street to take a photo!

brad (#1,678)

yes, i too am unable to come to grips with those who are doing something that interferes with my routine! god, please damn them?

Ms Asbo (#4,997)

You're with me, Jimmy Beanz.

HiredGoons (#603)

But please send us your money.

carpetblogger (#306)

Eat, Pay, Leave.

carpetblogger (#306)

@HG, I just noticed we are mirror images! Yay me! Yay you!

Rw (#1,458)

Which lane should someone who has to travel to New York frequently for work, family and friends walk in? I don't give a flying fuck about the "sights" and NYC imparts no sense of wonder or magic in me, at least no more than several other awesome cities in the world.

mcbeachy (#548)

@HW: I believe that would be the Smarter Than New Yorkers lane.

Dave Bry (#422)

But the lanes are labeled backwards. New Yorkers should be in the passing lane, no?

Seth Gordon (#5,026)

Yawn. First time I saw this, on Rivington Street, it was funny. Second time I saw it, it was old. Now it's showing up all over town. This joke is officially dead.

It would only work if the National Guard was there to enforce the borderline.

edoardo72 (#5,036)

Maybe a Banksy's work of art?

lilliejess (#5,050)

This looks familiar, but you have to be older than 30 to remember. Artist/prankster Joey Skaggs did this same thing more elaborately in 1984. It was called "Walk Right!". He and his vigilante followers had 66 rules for street etiquette. From his Web site at "All shopping and laundry carts must have their wheels well oiled. Obese people must walk single file. Different types of lanes were to be established — one way lanes, a passing lane, window shopping lanes, etc.. Pedestrians must choose one lane and stay in it. No changing directions except at designated areas. No stopping while walking except when in the shopping lane. No gesticulating while walking. No eating while walking. No short people with umbrellas unless held at minimum height of 5' 10"." CNN and WOR among others covered the story as if it was real. Too bad it wasn't.

80% of the people whom will read this and 97% of the staff should be in the "tourist" lane, due to I highly doubt your birth certificates say "New York" or even "New Jersey" on them

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