A hulking, helmeted guy on a scooter—never a good combination—charged down the middle of the sidewalk the other morning, forcing some fancy footwork before coffee. Prior to the potential collision, I practically needed a tank to traverse 10th Avenue in the 30s, a construction war zone. Then there are the smartphone zombies shuffling along while ego surfing.
The point is that pedestrians have it tough these days. Yet, at the same time, precious sidewalk space is increasingly hogged by another scourge: sandwich boards touting all manner of retail establishments.
According to New York City administrative law, sidewalks “must be kept free from … sandwich or A-frame signs.” The routinely flouted rule likely protects the visually imapaired. But what I find more galling than legal transgressions are the inane, Internet-kitty-cute messages conveyed by these dopey inanimate barkers.