The city’s teeming with tourists right now, and the NYC Department of Pedestrian Etiquette, which is of course a Totally Real Thing That We Should Believe, is out to clear the streets of “clumpers” and other pedestrians who are clogging the sidewalks and getting in the way of Very Important New Yorkers.
This memo was photographed on the front door of a building on East 7th Street, calling for permits to be issued to anybody who wants to walk on New York sidewalks, but only after he or she has passed an exam proving worthiness. If a walker commits three violations (full list below) of Pedestrian Etiquette, the walker will be deported from New York City, presumably to Hoboken.
Examples of Violations May Include:
– Blocking the sidewalk or any public area in a large group or just standing like an idiot in the middle of pedestrian traffic. Also referred to as “clumping.”
– Walking too slowly with more than one person spread across the sidewalk.
– Weaving from side to side, oblivious to busy New Yorkers trying to get the hell around you.
– Stopping abruptly without stepping off to the side.
– Sudden gestures or movements, for example: Sticking out your arm to point at something and thus smacking someone in the face who is trying to walk past. Hair flipping will also be prohibited.
– Blocking pedestrian traffic to stare up at Very Tall Buildings or to clump in a group to look at maps.
– Waiting for traffic light to turn green when the road is clear and thus blocking jay-walkers.
– Walking with your face in a map or mobile device.
– Walking with big rolly bags on narrow sidewalks or turning abruptly with a big fat back pack.
– Excessive arm swinging or bag swinging.
– Stopping like a deer in the headlights in front of a speeding bicycle.
– Stopping on a bike path with a big group to take pictures of squirrels.
– Not responding when a New York Resident tells you to “Stop Blocking the Sidewalk and Get the Hell Out of the Way! You Moron!!!”
– Or any rude or offensive pedestrian behavior as deemed unsuitable by the NYC DPE Patrol Units whose judgment shall be final.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2015