Sometimes, when I wander around Sandy Hill looking for stories, I find myself standing and staring up at various landmarks without realizing I’m next to a stop sign or a crosswalk. I’ve even been known to walk halfway across a street, become inspired by something behind me, and turn around and walk the other way.
There aren’t many cars driving around Sandy Hill at any given time, but when there are, they’ve been unusually patient with me, hesitating to move until I make up my mind.
Driving speeds are crawling at their fastest; cars actually stop at stop signs and red lights; and drivers put on their turn signals just to pull into their own driveways.
And it’s not just the drivers who have been courteous. Though they probably don’t need to, pedestrians are actually willing to walk the extra 10 metres to cross the street between the lines of a crosswalk.
Having very little traffic around Sandy Hill probably helps the abnormally prevalent driver/pedestrian etiquette. Still, as someone who lives on the campus at Carleton University, where stop signs are mild suggestions and taxis push pedestrians and challenge them to walk faster, it’s a refreshing change of pace.