Space Invaders: Sidewalk Edition

Space comes at a hefty premium in New York City.  And because there are so many of us here it doesn’t take much to feel like your space is being invaded.

Sidewalks are crucial to getting around and for pedestrians are like the arteries of New York City.  Whether it’s someone with a huge umbrella that hits you in the face on a crowded sidewalk or a “cause accoster” who blocks your path asking you to donate to the environment—they invade your space.

Here is a list of some of the top space invaders on the sidewalks of NYC:

1)   HUGE Umbrella Holders:  Is the beach umbrella really necessary when it’s just you trying to stay dry?

2)   Groups of Tourists: Walking in large groups on sidewalks, particularly when it’s 5 abreast, disrupt the flow of pedestrian traffic on city sidewalks.

3)   Sidewalk Vendors: Some NYC officials say they’re a nuisance.  But after an incident this year when vigilant sidewalk vendors spotted a bomb in Times Square one could argue that they are also the “eyes and ears” of the street.

4)   Cause Accosters Canvassers: “Excuse me ma’am do you have a minute to help save the environment?”  They cross traffic to get you to pledge money to their cause.  But how effective are they in gaining public support for important issues?

5)   Sidewalk Preachers: Not all of us want to hear a sermon on our way to the corner bodega, but that’s how it can feel when you have to hear the preaching of a pastor on a sidewalk nearby.

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