When it’s light enough I cycle home from work across a park. It’s quite a big park and has a semi-dedicated cycle path right through the middle. I say semi-dedicated because it’s really a wide path across the park with a big white line down it, there’s also a set of painted cycle symbols on the side that is intended for cycles.
As I cross the park on my way home, the cycle track is on the left.
Everyone walking in my direction is walking…on the left, on the cycle track. It’s very rare that I see someone walking in my direction who isn’t walking on the cycle track.
They are walking over the large symbols of cycles telling them that it’s an inappropriate thing to do.
They give me a glare every time I pass them by (even when they are stood on top of a big symbol of a cycle) as if I am the one being inappropriate..
They have no reason to be walking on the left. There are no indications that would suggest that they do it. Actually the indication is that they should walk on the other side.
The only reason that they are consistently walking on the left is our cultural tendency to walk the way we drive – on the left.
The cultural tendency is stronger than all of the signage. It’s even stronger than their experience – people rarely change sides after I’ve passed them.
I should also point out that all of the people walking in the opposite direction are also driving on their left.
I wonder what other cultural tendencies are making us do inappropriate things?