This morning, I trained up to San Francisco for day two of the New Game Conference, dedicated to HTML5 games (or rather, browser games that don't use Flash). As yesterday, I left enough time to make it to the train without stressing too much, which was a good move, as there was no parking at the Mountain View Caltrain station when I arrived at 7:35. Last time I bothered to check, Mountain View had parking spaces that early, but things must have changed since that point.
Yes, that's right, my unscientific poll says Caltrain's ridership is up over a year ago. Anyone who quotes me on that is a crappy researcher.
Unlike yesterday morning, this morning I knew where I was walking and where my destination was, so I was able to walk quickly, which worked well.
Except it didn't.
People bunch up at the intersections when the light is red, and begin to move forward when it turns green, or sometimes a moment before if they're old hat at this walking in San Francisco thing. They tend to move in little herds from one light to the next, breaking off as some people catch a light or turn the corner as they disperse.
Except those little herds don't always walk at a decent pace. Worse, the slower people don't move to the right, as I would have expected. As near as I can tell, the slower walkers just wander across the whole sidewalk, taking up as much space as possible, blocking or hip checking anyone who wants to pass them.
Okay, not quite that bad, but pretty close. While some people just walked more slowly (usually the shorter people), most of the people walking slowly had their noses buried in a phone.
I was reminded of Scott's story about how at West Point, they made sure the guy with the shortest legs was in front of the pack during group runs. When the guys with the longer legs were in front, wow, it was a harder run for everyone.
Oddly enough, this morning, I kept thinking, "Put the guy with the longer legs out in front." I swear, I was stuck behind the slowest, most annoying pedestrians ever.
And I wasn't even in a hurry.