On the fast lane

Thanks to C.S.J. for telling me about the studies of Robert Levine and others.

The pace of life in cities around the world is literally getting faster, a study shows.
Psychologists have measured the speed at which people walk and discovered a 10 per cent increase in the past decade. The findings, from 32 countries, reflect the increasing numbers of people living in the fast lane.

The page above has the data from a new study of Richard Wiseman that will be published in his new book Quirkology. Teams timed 35 men and women walking along a 20-metre stretch of pavement. Average times in seconds were as follows:

Singapore 10.55; Copenhagen 10.82; Madrid 10.89; Guangzhou 10.94; Dublin 11.03; New York 12.00; Warsaw 12.07; London 12.17; Wellington 12.62; Paris 12.65; Tokyo 12.83; Harare 13.92; Cairo 14.18; Dubai 14.64; Bern 17.37; Blantyre 31.60

Munich is missing – need for another study! I went to a lecture yesterday at Technical University, good conditions for a small trial: cat walk at München Kauffingerstrasse, no rain or snow, no babies or extremely small passengers, no wheelchairs, no jogger, no high-heels, no backpackers, no tourists, next tube entry is about 300 m away. You already get the point – situation is difficult to standardize. I even think that even time of day matters.

I tried to follow passengers first with a mobile GPS but measurements were not very reliable; taking photos from ~20 m above ground in 10 s intervals for later analysis of mass movements would need a more orthograd view. So I decided to use also two chalk lines and measured the crossing of the lines manually


Here are my results of 40 measurements: mean time was 15,59 s (median 15,48 s, sd 2,02), pretty slow …. I even learned during this exercise that there is even software for simulation of mass movements clickclick.