I'm talking 6:30 in the morning on side streets. You're not impeded by any slow-walking crowds.
Anyone have any insight?
probably because concrete is a lot harder on the joints than blacktop. Plus it is less likely there are going to be low hanging tree limbs to dodge out of the way of (not to mention stuff left for trash pick up). It's not me – I run on the trails – is it a problem for you to slow down on the side streets?
I ask why do they jog/run in bike lanes. Especially against bike traffic. That's asking for trouble.
Yes, I know that when walking in the street one should walk against traffic (so you can see it, and conceivably jump out of the way if needed,) but running in a bike lane seems like a recipe for a crash.
There is an old runners saying that if you run on the sidewalk you won't get hit by a car but your knees will feel like you did.
Theakston – I never said that I don't want to slow down for them (I am NOT trying to start another “pedestrians vs cars” argument here, for goodness sake), but it seems exceptionally unsafe to jog in the road instead of on the sidewalk. I'm not a runner myself, therefore I was asking a question because I know there are a lot of runners who read this site. But thank you (and NoVapolgist) for your other point about the blacktop vs. concrete. That makes more sense.
And BerryBerryCold – about 50% of the time I see people running in the street, they are running with traffic (not talking about bike lanes, though… haven't seen that). This morning, a guy was doing that, and he also had his headphones on, so he probably couldn't even hear me coming up behind him. Not that I had a problem slowing down, for the record.
I'll extend on Theakston's post and take it a bit further. In many ways running on sidewalks is more dangerous. Sidewalk surfaces vary dramatically. They dip, they tilt, they rise over roots, often with a change in surface material. They contain all sorts of debris from tree limbs to toys. They also disappear and reappear from block to block. For example, it is impossible to stick to sidewalks while walking or running up 26th Street, North east of Sycamore towards Harrison as the sidewalks don't exist on some blocks. Then there's the car problem. A jogger on a sidewalk is in more danger from a turning vehicle than a jogger in the road because the driver is less likely to see the jogger on the sidewalk. That said, joggers need to behave responsibly. (And that's really the bottom line with all this stuff, from driving, to jogging, to cycling, to riding the Metro. Behave responsibly.) When I run in the road I view it as my responsibility to be aware of the presence of cars (no headphones) and grant the car the right of way. For a variety of reasons it's not a good idea to run in bike lanes.
Walkers only. Side A has sidewalk. Side B does not. Walkers walk in the road on side B. Why, I don't know.
No to concrete, yes to asphalt and yes to all the reasons yequalsy listed. but even when just walking around neighborhoods with my dogs, there are sometimes so few sidewalks (Ashton Heights) that walking in the roads is the only option. It is my responsibility as a runner to cede to the cars but I don't feel badly if my presence causes the cars to slow down to the speed limit.
I would like to second yequalsy's post – if the incidents that the OP was alluding to did indeed happen on “side streets”, well, the sidewalks on side streets tend to be rather discontinuous.
Also, maybe at 6:30 in the morning, said runner just believes the traffic density to be manageable?
Thanks everyone. Helpful. This happens quite often, though the occurrences that spurred my question were in Ballston, one on Utah between 11th and Washington (bad sidewalks – lots of cracks, jutting, etc – one way street, didn't really bother me) and the other along 11th between Utah and Vermont (fine sidewalks in terms of obstructions, two way street/fast cars, headphones, and running with traffic… bothered me).
There are definitely places where sidewalks are hard to come by, but there are lots where I live. I hadn't thought of the difference between concrete and asphalt, though, and the sidewalk obstruction reason makes a lot of sense too. I guess it just makes me nervous for the joggers!
Yequalsy pretty much covered it all.
I'll add that in the winter when there is ice or snow on the trails and sidewalks, I almost exclusively stick to the roads on side streets. There is less traffic there and they are usually clear of snow and ice long before the sidewalks and trails are.
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