NYC is one of the most sought after cities to visit in the U.S. Every year, over 60 million tourists visit “The City That Never Sleeps” and there are over 8 million people who live in NYC, alone. Getting around NYC, for both tourists and lifelong residents, can be exciting, frustrating, confusing and even a little dangerous.
You can take ferries, subways, buses, taxis, and rent a bike but one of the best (and cheapest) ways to see NYC is to walk. Planning your next trip to NYC or ready to hit Times Square? Here are some tips for walking around:
Wear The Right Shoes
If you decide to stroll around Manhattan in your favorite pair of flip flops or stilettos, you may look “cool,” but you probably won’t be able to walk around during the rest of your vacation. It may be a “no-brainer” but wear the right shoes.
Choose a pair of shoes that have adequate support, good tread, and are weather appropriate. While you don’t have to wear jogging shoes, wear shoes that you can walk fast in because that’s the preferred speed on the streets of NYC.
Dress For The Weather
It can be a long way back to your hotel room so it’s best to dress in light layers. Avoid carrying too much stuff but don’t walk around without weather appropriate clothing.
Learn Sidewalk Etiquette
Walking tours are a great way to get an inside look at some of the best parts of New York City, but it can also be just as fun to head out on your own. If you do decide to hit the streets by yourself or with your group of friends, learn a bit about the do’s and don’t of walking on sidewalks:
Do: Walk two-by-two and don’t take up the whole width of the sidewalk. Be alert and fast.
Don’t: Stop suddenly in the middle of the sidewalk to take a selfie. Avoid crowding around on street corners, as this can make it difficult for pedestrians to cross and for drivers to see.
Use common sense and don’t get too upset if people seem rushed or unenthusiastic about giving directions (use a map app on your smartphone).
Know How To Be A Safe Pedestrian
Walking in NYC is dangerous for every pedestrian. Even though the speed limit was lowered in 2014, speeding cars and distracted drivers are some of the biggest contributing factors in accidents involving a pedestrian.
Pedestrians are also responsible for keeping themselves as safe as possible, which means that you need to always stay alert (especially when crossing the street) and assume that no driver can see you because they probably can’t or don’t.
Know where the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians are and try to avoid them during rush hour and at night on the weekends. Even if you have the “right of way,” always make eye contact with a driver before crossing to make sure that he or she sees you.
When you visit New York, you’ll soon realize that while there are laws, they aren’t always followed so be extra cautious while walking to your next sightseeing destination.