by: Breaking Inequality
by: Matt Kiebus
It’s easy to become frustrated when navigating city sidewalks. Every corner you turn there is a horde of tourists taking 30 pictures of an authentic bodega or some asshole who stopped suddenly to answer a text message. Every fifteen feet there is someone new asking for change or selling cell phone covers. People loiter on street corners and block crosswalks. Bike messengers and delivery boys ride on crowded sidewalks forcing pedestrians to nearly dive out of their way.
Walking around in major cities can be like playing Super Mario—ducking, dodging, spinning, splitting, stumbling, jumping, bumping, tripping and sprinting through crowds and past obstacles to reach your destination.
It’s maddening and infuriating, however it’s a part of life in a major city.
The city of brotherly love is taking a rather bold step to change that. Philadelphia has started a program entitled “Give Respect, Get Respect,” which centers on citizens putting away their cell phones and paying attention to the bike lanes.
The program started in early May and aims to punish “bad behavior by motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians in Center City.” Since May the city has been issuing warnings citizens’ misdeeds—this includes roughly 600 cyclists who rode on sidewalks and ran red lights.