Columnists, Columns, Opinion

What Grinds My Gears: Slow walkers

It takes a lot for me to hate someone. But I hate people who walk slow on Commonwealth Avenue. Actually, hate is much too light of a word. I disdain them — I want them to disappear.

There is no reason to ever be walking slow down that street, especially this time of the year. On the other hand, there is always a place you need to be, and it’s indoors. Why anyone would take a leisurely stroll outside in 20 degree weather while it’s raining is beyond me.

Granted I’m from Southern California where it never drops below 50 degrees and it rains maybe four times a year, so maybe I’m just not used to it. However, it seems like common sense to not want to be cold.

Most importantly though, slow walkers have made me late for class. Every time I have somewhere to be (which is pretty much all the time these days), I get trapped behind a group of slow walkers who are taking a casual stroll down Comm. Ave.

While I love eavesdropping, especially on college students, my fear of doing the embarrassing shuffle of finding a seat while my professor is lecturing far outweighs my curiosity. It also makes me downright infuriated.

Who do you think you are? By slowly walking down Comm. Ave. you are valuing your time over mine. It’s plain inconsiderate, and there are other places you can stroll.

Don’t even get me started on the people who just stop in the middle of the sidewalk. While I at least somewhat understand slow-walking, I don’t at all understand people who just stop.

I was walking behind a girl the other day during peak rush hour. Just when we had a nice pace going, she suddenly stops walking to send a text. But why?

If you really need to stop to tie your shoe or send a text message, just walk to the side of the walkway. Please don’t just stop right in the middle where you can become an obstacle to others.

Not only is that inconsiderate, it’s also dangerous. If I hadn’t been paying attention, I definitely would have hit her.  One, if not both, of us would have ended up on the ground. There would have been scrapes and bruises.

Now, I know that there are solutions to this. First, I could take the T or the BU Shuttle instead, but I don’t like this answer for many reasons. For starters, the T costs money. I always feel like it’s a waste of $2.25 to just go up or down two stops.

The next option is the BU Shuttle, but we all know the BUS is ridiculously unreliable. I once waited for the Shuttle only for it to show up and announce on its electronic banner that it was out of service. I decided to wait for the next one because the app said it was only five minutes away. The next BUS shows up and says the same thing.

The BUS is almost as bad as slow walkers — almost.  

Of course, my other solution is to leave my dorm earlier to account for slow walkers, but I don’t like this option either. The issue isn’t just getting to class on time. It’s also about being forced to stay in the cold longer than necessary.

However, I love walking, and it’s one of the reasons why I put up with slow walkers to begin with. As I mentioned above, when it’s 20 degrees outside and the BU wind tunnel is going hard, all I’m thinking about is getting inside. I chant “I’m so cold” over and over again until I finally set foot indoors, so leaving earlier doesn’t actually help me. It just makes me colder.

While impractical, my solution is for one of those automatic walkways to be installed along Comm. Ave. That way even if there are slow walkers, you’ll still be getting to your destination faster.

My other, and far more practical solution, is for people to just walk a little bit quicker. Of course, if you have a disability or are injured, it’s completely understandable if you have to go a little bit slower than everyone else.

But for my casual strollers: If you guys could just pick up the pace a little that would be greatly appreciated. If you could just move off to the side and provide space in the middle lanes for those who want to speed-walk, that would also be nice.

Just do anything that doesn’t block or slow down traffic because if you do, I will hate you.


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