Derby Road Needs a Fast Walking Lane

A street in Liverpool has become the first in the UK to implement a fast lane for pedestrians. This is, quite frankly, a brilliant idea because there is nothing more annoying than a slow walker. It’s hard not to use physical violence when I’m stuck behind one on the way into campus, so for the sake of my sanity I think it would be for the best if fast walking lanes came to Derby Road.

Here is the main issue. Like all students, I love my bed and there is nothing I won’t do for an extra 10 minutes lie in on a morning. One way to gain some extra time in bed is simply to walk onto campus more quickly, but this becomes hard when people decide to dawdle along Derby Road like they’re soaking in the sights of Venice. Worse, slow walkers tend to come in groups. I don’t know what the collective noun for a group of slow walkers is, so let’s go with herd. When a herd of slow walkers block the pavement I am often forced to overtake by stepping out onto the bus lane, so these people are selfishly putting my life in danger.

Adding to my list of objections to slow-goers is the fact that I have to get to the history building, which is as far away from Lenton as anything on campus – only located there as some sort of cruel joke at the expense of second and third years. When I’m proceeding down Derby Road like I’m being chased by a nest of angry hornets, science students tend to stare at me like they can’t work out what the rush is. It’s OK for you with your conveniently located department but I’ve got the whole of campus to cross yet and I’m already running late, so get out of the way unless you want an earlier than planned lesson in human anatomy when I rip out your spleen.

“I’m already running late, so get out of the way unless you want an earlier than planned lesson in human anatomy when I rip out your spleen”

Being completely honest, even without these considerations I would still walk to uni at the speed of George Osborne’s budget cuts. Being a fast walker is inherently entwined in my DNA and when friends request that we ‘walk a bit slower today’ I tend to look at them like they’ve just asked if we can moonwalk onto campus. Slow walking is just always frustrating, whether walking through town, between lectures or in the supermarket. Seeing as we cannot ban it the only thing to do is segregate slow walkers into appropriate zones so they can be easily avoided and ostracised from broader society.

Liverpool’s scheme uses a fast lane and a slow lane, but my concern is this might not go far enough. I worry that even those who consider themselves fast walkers might not be quick enough for me and still get in the way. When I come to power the pavements will be laid out, motorway style, in three lanes giving ample space for overtaking and forcing herds of slow walkers into single file. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) this prospect doesn’t seem imminent and neither does a fast lane for pedestrians on Derby Road. In the meantime we speedy walkers are considering taking matters into our own hands and equipping ourselves with tasers. You’ve been warned slow coaches.

Jack Langslow

Image: Hernan Pinera via Flickr

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