Sidewalk Friends

Written by Mackenzie Walden-Taylor, Photo By Mikhail Minor.

MAY 12, 2016: Do people still say “hello” when passing each other on the sidewalk? Are pedestrian manners a thing? What is Etiquette?  Etiquette is alive and well in DC. Etiquette is polite behavior and good manners in a community space. It is a nice way to create a respectful environment.

On April 15, we did a study and said hello to 200 people we passed on a three-mile walk to the Convention Center from our school.

My friends and I had a mission to make “Sidewalk Friends”. 

Sidewalk Friends are strangers you say hello to on the sidewalk or anywhere. Our original goal was to reach one hundred Sidewalk Friends. We reached this goal when we got to Union Station. We said “hello” to at least 200 people only 140 people answered.  This game was started by my friend Mikhail. She said that we should say “Good morning” to each other. Then my other friend, Candace, said that she would say “good morning” to  every person who walks past us. It was just a way to pass time. Then it got serious after we got to Starbucks. At Starbucks Candace, McKenzie, and I were casually talking and we saw lonely people walking. So, we thought, “Hey! What if all people had friends!” We set out a mission to approach at least 50 people. We would consider them “friends”. That’s where the name “Sidewalk Friends” came from.

So, 70% of the people answered. The other 30% did not care to be polite to say “hello” back. Saying hello to someone means that you took time out of your day to share manners.  Findings for this study concluded that most people today have manners in Capitol Hill and still do say hello as you pass on the sidewalk.

Mackenzie Walden-Taylor and Mikhail Minor are in the seventh grade at Friendship Chamberlain Academy.