Land sharks: Keep walking or get arrested

The New York Times reports on the case of a pedestrian arrested for — well, not being enough of a pedestrian:

According to court documents, a man named Matthew Jones was charged with disorderly conduct … in June 2004. According to court papers, a police officer "observed defendant along with a number of other individuals standing around at the above location, to wit a public sidewalk, not moving, and that as a result of defendant’s behavior, numerous pedestrians in the area had to walk around defendants."

The short news item is accompanied by dozens of online complaints about slow walkers, cellphone abusers, and people who get in the way on escalators.

This is a real conundrum for those of us who live or work in Boston, especially along the Freedom Trail. Yes, we value liberty and are not fond of laws that restrict personal movement or the lack thereof. But it would make our commutes shorter if tourists weren’t allowed to stop and gawk on our narrow sidewalks…