Like we drive in Australia, I so wish people would keep to the left when walking on the street. We drive on the left, walk on the left and on escalators, keep to the left. Oddly in the UK, they do all of the above except they keep right on the escalator. There must be an historical reason for that but on the face of it, weird! Thanks Pants for the info, ever so many years ago.
People in Melbourne do tend to keep to the left on footpaths. Only tend, mind you. There are no rules, and there are many who don't obey the unwritten law. Well, it is not even an unwritten law, as most people know about unwritten laws.
I forgive the ignorant, but not the selfish.
What about when you are walking along a narrow footpath, on your own, on a footpath two people wide? This happens ever so often to me in Prahran. Do you step off the footpath onto the roadway and let the two people continue to walk side by side or do you force them to single file so you can pass on the footpath? I force them to single file. R steps onto the roadway.
This also happens to me at work, when I go out to get my lunch or whatever. People are walking astride. I don't allow them to force me to dodge them. They must bunch up.
I have really noticed people alone tend to get out of the way of a couple or a group of people when walking, and the sole persons should not.
As for blocking the whole footpath when in a group and chatting outside the restaurant after a nice dinner out, no. Let people past. As my grandmother used to say about Oakleigh when she returned from shopping, the damn Greeks and Eyeties standing around in groups and jabbering away and blocking the footpath.
If I remember to do it, I have a tried and true method of getting along a busy footpath. Find a person who is moving at the pace you want to walk, make sure they are broad of beam, and walk a couple of feet behind them. They are the ship's bow, breaking through the water, and you are just sucked along behind.
Any footpath etiquette to add? Are you an assertive walker or a step out of the way walker? Do you ever take much notice?