How to put other night-time pedestrians at ease?
December 6, 2012 11:52 PM Subscribe
I walk to and from work down residential streets. It's dark, especially in Winter. Evidently I walk faster than most other pedestrians as I'm often passing them, not vice-versa. Is there a way to reassure these other pedestrians that I am not hurrying up behind them to rob/murder/kidnap them?
posted by TangoCharlie to Society & Culture (54 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The sidewalks aren't as busy as a main street - there's at least a person or two every other block. If there were loads of people, I wouldn't think twice about it. As it is, the person in front of me and myself are usually the only people on the block. But it'll be one person on this block, then another person a block later. There are enough people that it seems crazy to zig-zag in order to avoid them, but not enough to generate a feeling of crowd safety.
I don't know that everyone I pass is worried about the footsteps approaching them from behind. But hey, sometimes I think the worst about footsteps approaching me from behind. Maybe I'm not the only one.
Is there any way to send a signal that I am perfectly harmless?
(I'm in a major West-Coast Canadian city and am an early-30s white male, more-or-less average build, but if I'm wearing a scarf under my coat and it's dark out you might mistake me for someone who looks tough and you would be wrong.)