Ten minutes ago, as I turned into my walkway after walking my dog, the dog suddenly whirled around and jumped at a jogger who appeared out of nowhere and ran past us on the inside part of the sidewalk. I called out to him but he continued running. Last week, as Adam and I walked on California, two bikers suddenly zoomed past us without warning. I’ve had the same experience when my back is to the sidewalk while I pick up after Adam.
It’s amazing to me how many people behave irresponsibly around dog walkers in the mistaken belief that it is the dog walker’s responsibility to foresee any and all possibilities for trouble and to take preventive action. This is a two-way street, folks. I cannot see you if my back is to you. I cannot hear you if you are running in crepe soled shoes. I cannot protect myself or Adam if you suddenly zoom out of an alley or a gangway on your bicycle. If you can yell at me afterwards about my goddamn dog, then you have the vocal power to signal your presence before there’s a problem.
It’s important that we show some consideration toward one another. Please, jog in place or call out to me while doing it so that I know you’re there. Give me a few seconds to step out of the way. If you are biking, please know that if you are over the age of 15, you have no business biking on the sidewalk, no matter how close you are to your destination. Devon Avenue, in particular, is plagued by adult bike riders who do not signal their presence, preferring instead to weave in and out of pedestrian traffic. This is dangerous for everyone.
A little common sense and a bit of courtesy are enormously helpful in these situations.