Review: The Left Hand Side of the Street

The left hand side of the road, as seen from the right hand side of the road.

What’s being tested?

The decision to walk upon or occupy a part of the left hand pedestrianised area bordering any high street or road, as opposed to walking upon or occupying a relatively similar space on the opposite pedestrianised area of the same high street or road.

What we found

Pros: Our testers found that by walking on the left hand side of the road, they were more able to exploit opportunities or things specific to that side than if they had been walking on the right hand side. They also found that they were afforded a more comprehensive view of the right hand side than they would have enjoyed had they been situated on the right hand side itself. Finally, it was noted that the right hand side of the road was easily accessible by turning and walking in the opposite direction.

Cons: Many of those who tested the left hand side of the road found themselves to be at a distinct disadvantage, compared to if they had been on the right hand side, when it came to accessing facilities and amenities on the latter pedestrianised area. Many also noted that, while their understanding of the left hand side of the road had become much more specific and detailed due to the close proximity of the tester to this side, they were afforded a much more limited overall picture of the side they occupied than they would have had had they switched to the right hand side. A few of our testers even noted how easy it was to find oneself instantly on the wrong side of the road by changing one’s direction by 180 degrees.

Verdict

Our testers found that, while the disadvantages of occupying the left hand pedestrianised area were almost exactly equal to the advantages of the aforementioned predilection, personal preference was overwhelmingly in favour of the walking on the side on test. It’s worth noting that most of the left hand sides we tested provided fairly regular and convenient access to the right hand side, albeit without the promise of a similar experience to the left hand side upon joining the right hand side.

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