I agree with all of these proposed laws for New York City (especially the standing in line for ten minutes and then not knowing what you want, jesus). Commenters have made some terrible suggestions (banning businesses with AC from leaving their doors wide open? Yes, it’s environmentally disastrous, but that rush of cold air when you’re walking down the sidewalk is the best feeling in the world), so I’ll add a few crucial ones to the list:
1. Standing at the top of the subway stairs, blocking everyone coming in and out, to finish up a conversation on your cellphone, or to figure out where to go next, or to look at your giant map of the city. Step to the side or get fined!
2. Walking into the subway and immediately stopping just inside the doors. The conductor isn’t joking when he says to move inside the car.
3. Walking — or, more commonly, slow-as-fuck sauntering — more than two across on the sidewalk. People have places to go, so pick up the pace or don’t walk in enormous hordes.
4. Tourist highlights. (You know what I’m talking about). Why, God, why?
5. Stopping in the middle of the street to gaze upwards because you just saw a tall building. Stand to the side! Folks have places to be! (Clearly most of my pet peeves revolve around the fact that I am perpetually running late and therefore need to speedwalk down the street to get to my destination, and get extremely salty when people are in my way).
6. Doing any sort of personal foot or nail care on public transportation. The subway is not the place to cut your toenails or fingernails or to remove your feet from your shoes for any reason at all, and if you do that, you should go to jail.
7. Consuming odiferous food on the subway. I’m grossed out by the idea of consuming any sort of food on the subway — do you know what kinds of germs are traveling in those cars, and you are opening your mouth and putting food into it?! — but hey, sometimes you’re in a rush and you have to eat en route to your next destination. I totally get that. But may I suggest a bagel, or a pretzel, or an apple, or perhaps a nice energy bar? A giant container of take-out Chinese or a bag of chicken wings is not the most thoughtful choice.
8. Putting your bag on the subway seat next to you (unless the train is mostly empty and seats are plentiful). There’s already a law against that, but it could use some enforcement. Ditto for putting your feet on the seats. Didn’t your mother raise you better than that?
9. Music on the subway before 10am. Listen, I like a blaring F-train Mariachi band as much as the next girl, but not within two hours of waking up. That goes double — and at all hours — for people whose iPods are turned up so loud I can hear their music beyond their headphones (making me feel like an old woman who wants to shake my finger and warn them that they’re permanently damaging their hearing), and people who don’t even bother with the headphones but instead play their cellphone ringtones out loud over and over and over.
10. Enormous strollers. You live in New York, a city of small spaces and tight squeezes. Your child does not need to be wheeled around in a Cadillac.
11. Leaning on or wrapping your entire body around the subway pole. I don’t like to touch those things either, but on a crowded train you need to just grab on and not block the entire thing with your body.
12. Continuing to read your book, magazine, Kindle, iPad or smartphone after you have exited the train and are now walking. No one in the history of the world is capable of walking and reading at the same time. Put it down.
13. People who walk in the bike lane. Cars that drive or swerve into the bike lane. Cyclists who ride on the sidewalk when there’s a bike lane available, or ride the wrong way down the street.
14. Golf umbrellas. I understand that you don’t want a drop of rain to touch your precious overcoat, but you are sharing the sidewalk with everyone and your four-foot-wide umbrella is very much in the way.
15. Man-sitting (dudes who spread their knees SO WIDE when they sit down, as if they were lugging bowling balls in their pants).
And SO MANY OTHER THINGS, because I am crotchety as hell.