Seawall Etiquette 101 - A Rant From A Runner


I love jogging the seawall around Stanley Park and False Creek, here in Vancouver. Being able to run beside the ocean is one of my favourite things to do in the entire world. However, some days there are more people out walking, jogging, roller blading or cycling than other days and it gets congested. It doesn't take much to see that all of humanity breaks down when we are out strolling on the sea wall. So to save us all from bruising from continuous face palms, we all need to tune up our common sense when it comes to sharing the space so we can all live in peace.

So, I’ve come up with these sea wall etiquette rules for all those who want to run, walk, jog, roll or whatever… Violators beware. 

  1. Slow traffic stay right! If you’re pushing a stroller, talking on your cell phone, or taking your dog for a poop walk, you should just stay on the right side. You’re making everyone uncomfortable and don't be surprised when people start cussing under their breath as they pass you.
  2. Dog walkers clean up after your poop factory dogs. Please use your poop bags and take them to the garbage can when you're done. The worst is seeing 100,000 bags filled with poop lined along the path with owners nowhere to be found.
  3. Use left lane for passing only! The seawall isn’t a 4-lane highway! Maybe it’s a two-person road, at most. So friends and families please don’t be walking in groups of 4 or 5 or 10 taking up whole width of the sea wall. Now don't get me wrong, I love to see families out walking on a beautiful sunny day. But as a runner it’s difficult to pass through a large group not paying attention to the flow of traffic. Single or double file, please.
  4. The passing lane is on the left. Faster runners, walkers, etc. take note! Don't try to smash through the rest of traffic, there are rules for you too! 
  5. High fives are okay, just humour me. I am sick and tired of strangers declining my high five requests when I'm on an amazing run, enjoying the beautiful day. Don't leave me hanging. The worst is when you look confused and stare as I run by.
  6. Bike lanes exist for bikes, pedestrian lanes exist for pedestrians. Yes, that's right. There is an actual fancy lane for the bikes and rollerbladers, it’s called the bike lane and it has a picture of a cyclist and rollerblader painted on it with directional arrows. Use it! This is not for walking or standing. That being said, if you're a cyclist, or a rollerblader stay in your own lane the city has specially painted for you bucko, or there will be a stick in your spokes.
  7. Don't stand in the middle of the path. If you’re lost, kindly move to the side of the path rather than standing in the middle not paying attention to oncoming traffic. I’ve actually run into a few people because they just suddenly stopped, changed directions, then stopped again for no apparent reason. Being unpredictable causes accidents! All I can say to them is "You are lucky I wasn’t riding a bicycle". Handlebars hurt more than elbows.
  8. Dress for the weather. I'm not sure if you realize this, or just got confused at the palm trees... This isn't L.A. The city was built over a temperate rainforest. That means the temperature isn't hot. Rain exists. Cold rain. Do yourself a favour and wear a jacket and don't have that angry, surprised look on your face when the grey clouds dump their fury on you and your ponytail.
  9. Perverts stay home. Last, but definitely not least, to all you perverts our there who don’t know what appropriate behaviour or exercise attire is, just stay home. Ladies, proper running attire does NOT include see through yoga pants! And fellas, wear shorts that keep your junk from flying around for all to see. Would somebody please think of the children?

Before you head out for your next walk, run, jog, bike ride, whatever you're doing out there, make sure you're not violating these terms of use, or you'll likely get hip-checked into the ocean by an upset seawaller. 

By the way, here are TWO handy dandy printable maps for all you seawall n00bs. Bring them with you. 


(EDIT: this blog post is meant as a sarcastic rant and should be taken with a grain of salt. Just have a laugh and try not to get too worked up.)