Hey Left Side Drivers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Doroshenk, May 2, 2002.

  1. John Doroshenk

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    In the US we drive on the right side of the road and it is customary to walk down the street, or on stairs on the right side as to not walk into the people coming in the other direction. In countries that drive on the left side, do you walk on the left side of a sidewalk or stairs? I've always wondered this. Please let me know.

    John
     
  2. Maurice McCone

    Maurice McCone Stunt Coordinator

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    John,
    interesting question. I am British living in England. I must say that I am not awar of walking on any particular side of the pavement, however, as you are aware we drive on the correct side of the road - the left [​IMG]
    The historical reasons for driving on the left is said to come the practice of knights or armed riders who would obviously pass each other with their 'fighting arm' or sword arm to the other individual; as most people are right handed, the practice became to keep to the left.
    Incidently saluting in the military comes from the practice of lifting ones visor to greet another and thus is carried on by the right handed salute in most military units today.
    This right handed bias is also why old medieval castles were built with their stairs in towers rising in a clockwise fashion; giving the advantage to the right handed defenders retreating upwards.
    Thus I am left wondering why the US drives on the right at all ? I can't think of any historical roots; any one know when this started ?
     
  3. John Doroshenk

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    Ok, then my challenge for you to do, is go to the market and walk down the aisle and line up directly infront of someone and walk towards them, what is your instinct and what is their first movement towards? I'm wondering which way both of you go. In the states, its about 90% people go to the right. The other times its mostly cause the one person is so far to the left that its just easier.
     
  4. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    John,

    That's odd. I was just thinking about posting the same question here.
     
  5. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I wish more people realized this![​IMG]
    I hate it when people walk on the left, especially at crowded shopping malls.
     
  6. Maurice McCone

    Maurice McCone Stunt Coordinator

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    surely if you are approaching someone and as is usual you would make to shake hands (with your right hands) then surely the natural postion is to have this person on your right hand side ie you would pass him on the left ?
     
  7. Ben Osborne

    Ben Osborne Second Unit

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    I hate it when people walk on the left, especially at crowded shopping malls.

    That and people walking in large groups and not leaving any room for others to pass, people stopping suddenly when others are right behind them, people having conversations in the middle of aisles, people not looking where they're going--the list goes on.

    I used to work at a place that required me to park in a parking lot attached to a mall. The fastest way to the office was through the mall, so I've seen just about every walking violation there is. I wish more people would obey the unwritten rules of walking in public.
     
  8. Maurice McCone

    Maurice McCone Stunt Coordinator

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    may I also tack on a related question?

    Why are there so few roundabouts (sorry , rotarys)on American roads?

    They seem a more efficient practice and less dangerous than intersections.....
     
  9. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Because American drivers are generally not taught how to use them, thus when presented with them, they're viewed as dangerous & ill-advised after numerous accidents, so they're removed.

    Sigh.

    Happened to one in Clearwater, recently.
     
  10. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    For which-side-of-the-road info, check out this link. Looks like most of the world drives on the right, while mostly the UK and their former "possessions" retain the left-side convention.
    As far as rotaries, we're trying to put more of them here in VT, but despite their safety record, environmental benefits, and lesser cost to build, it's a hard uphill fight to get the public to go along with them. There are a few, however, with plans to build at least two more near me. The education issue is very valid, as well. Using the few we do have, I generally always see someone using them incorrectly. It's not a hard concept, but people are conditioned to red=stop, green=go at intersections. Anything else is chaos.
    Now traffic circles, which I remember from my college days in NJ, those are frightening. [​IMG]
     
  11. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Traffic circles you say? Come to Washington, DC where the city is full of them.
     
  12. Dan D.

    Dan D. Stunt Coordinator

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    Rotaries/roundabouts seem to be popular on a state-by-state basis. We have a great many of them here in Massachusetts. I can think of 5 off the top of my head within 5 miles of where I live.
     
  13. Paul D Young

    Paul D Young Second Unit

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    "Hey Kids, there's Big Ben; Parliament"
     
  14. John Doroshenk

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    Jim, I guess great minds think alike.

    Anyways, the question will never be answered I guess. I'll just have travel across that big ocean and do some hardcore anthropological study and figure out this question.

    As for roundabouts/rotary thingys, I can't stand em. In dc as chris was saying, there is one on I believe on wisconsin ave near friendship heights that has the circle then like 8 roads feeding into it, more than once I've gone full circle cause no one would let me over. Stupid circles.

    By far the weirdest traffic pattern is one that I've only seen in New Jersey are those jug handle things (I believe thats what they call them) I was trying to make a left and it couldn't anywhere till I realized they had those strange roads on the right side of the road. Wouldn't a left turn lane with a yield light make life easier?
     
  15. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  18. eric nyhof

    eric nyhof Stunt Coordinator

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    not sure if it was posted already, but you are supposed to walk on the left side of the road against traffic. If you are on a bike you have to follow all the rules of the road and must bike with traffic.
     
  19. Richard Cooper

    Richard Cooper Stunt Coordinator

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    I usually head for the left side of the pavement when passing someone in the hope that they do the same, but 50% of teh time they go the right (this is assuming we're walking in opposite directions of course!).

    It's something I've deliberately done for years.
     
  20. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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