You’re walking to work, making good time, and then… someone steps in front of you, moving at a snail’s pace. Or a tourist blocks your path to snap a picture. Or someone in front of you is focused on their Blackberry, not where they’re going.
We’ve all been there. If just the thought of any of these scenarios makes you reach the boiling point, though, you may have a problem. Apparently, you don’t have to hit the road to feel the rage.
Researchers say “sidewalk rage” is real.
Aggressive walkers can express their frustration in different forms and intensity levels – ranging from staring down a slow walker to physically bumping into them. Experts say acting out on sidewalk rage may be a sign of a psychiatric condition known as “intermittent explosive disorder.”
“I am one of those sidewalk ragers, it just drives me crazy,” Joe Camposo, of Westbury, confessed to 1010 WINS’ John Montone. “It’s either move or get out of the way. I have no patience.”
Two women from Brooklyn told Montone they’ve been victims of sidewalk rage getting pushed, knocked down and elbowed.
Researchers are conducting studies to determine what sets people off and how it can be curbed – especially since the sidewalks aren’t getting any less crowded.
According to a study conducted by the NYC Department of City Planning, the city was listed as having the highest population density in the country with 26,403 people per square mile in 2000.
According to the study, the average speed of walkers in Lower Manhattan is 4.27 feet per second – tourists clocked in at 3.79 ft/s, smokers at 4.17 ft/s, cell phone users at 4.20 ft/s, men at 4.42 ft/s, and woman at 4.1 ft/s.
So, if you can’t get rid of all those people in your way, then you have to get the anger out of your head.
Frank, from the Upper West Side, suggests getting away for a while. He admits that he used to be an aggressive walker until he spent a few years in Los Angeles.
“You kind of calm down over there, you mellow out,” Frank said.
If you can’t take a vacation from the mean streets of New York City then take a deep breath and realize those slow walkers aren’t out to get you.