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Approaching a Cyclist - Which Side of the Road? (Read 126 times)

LedLincoln


not bad for mile 25

    1. I was taught, and I think most people here agree that pedestrians are supposed to be on the left, facing the oncoming traffic. That gives you, the pedestrian, the best view of the traffic that will be closest to your side, so you and the rider or driver can see eye to eye, and respond if needed.
    2. I was also taught that cyclists generally are to follow the rules of the road as they apply to cars - they ride on the right, and if approaching a pedestrian, should move toward the center to pass the runner/walker at a safe distance.

    That is what I plan to continue doing. That said, I remember one incident in which I was running, saw a cyclist approaching so I moved farther to the left to give him more room, and he insisted on passing me on my left, to the point where he went off the road and rode on the grass. A bit weird, but whatever.

    Running Problem


    Problem Child

      TERMS OF SERVICE..... laughable. I'm going to say it was considered obscene, but this place never has to explain itself to anyone. Clearly stating the cyclist was being inconsiderate isn't ever going to be considered hurtful towards them since they're anonymous.

       

      Keep doing things the way you're doing them Julia. It's clearly working out well for you.

      Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

      VDOT 54.9

      5k19:35 | Marathon 2:56:07

      darkwave


      Mother of Cats

        1. I was taught, and I think most people here agree that pedestrians are supposed to be on the left, facing the oncoming traffic. That gives you, the pedestrian, the best view of the traffic that will be closest to your side, so you and the rider or driver can see eye to eye, and respond if needed.

         

        I will confess that I do not agree with this rule for running in my area (which is the same area as Julia).  That rule makes some slight sense (more on my reservations below) if you are running on the side of long roads with few intersections.  But in our area, there is an intersection every 100m, most with stop signs instead of lights.   And when cars in our area make right turns at stop signs, they look to their left and then make the turn - they rarely look to the right to see if there is an oncoming runner.  I've seen several close calls between runners and cars result from just this scenario.

         

        I also believe that the idea that a runner can "respond" to an oncoming car and avoid a collision is an illusion - similar to the one that results in people getting killed crossing train tracks because "the train didn't look that close."    You might be able to jump out of the way if the car is going 5 mph or so.  But not if it's going 25+ mph.  When I was hit by a truck (while in a crosswalk, not in the road) I saw it coming and had what felt like an eternity and was probably at least 5 seconds to jump out of the way.  It wasn't enough time. 

         

        Seeing vehicles coming gives you a sense of control over the situation.  But that sense is in most cases not the reality.

         

        Going back to the original post - FWIW, Julia - I don't think you did anything wrong.  I can envision the street you were on and the scenario, and I think you were fine.  There is a subset of cyclists in this area who have anointed themselves experts on how everyone should use the road - cars, cyclists, and pedestrians - and I think you encountered one of them.

        Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

         

        And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

        JMac11


        I spilled the milk

           .   And when cars in our area make right turns at stop signs, they look to their left and then make the turn - they rarely look to the right to see if there is an oncoming runner.  I've seen several close calls between runners and cars result from just this scenario.

           

           

           

          This is true in almost all of the areas where I've run in the road. I've made a habit of always going behind the lead car, e.g. if there are multiple cars lined up, you go in between car #1 and #2. I never run in front of cars expecting them to stop after a scary incident a few years back where someone didn't see me. I've also had the opposite happen to me while driving: you just don't think about checking your right.

           

          I think the one big thing I've learned is that having the right of way doesn't mean that's what you should do. Sharing the road with cars on bike? Give the driver some room and don't be that person who thinks "I have the right of way, so F off". The same is true with being a runner: yes, you have the right of way crossing that intersection, but you're putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

           

          I'd add: in most states, it's the law to run/walk against traffic if there is no sidewalk. Not that you should follow every law blindly, but it does point out that staying against traffic is following the law:

           

          Maryland law, like the others, is clear: “If there is no sidewalk, always walk on the side of the road facing traffic.” Although no federal laws mandate which side you should be on, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Transportation Department recommend running against traffic.

          The common mistake that puts runners in danger on the road

           

          ETA: for the real law nerds in MD, because I was curious

          TR§21-506(a, b) Pedestrian unlawfully on roadway
          Where a sidewalk is provided, a pedestrian may not walk along and on an adjacent roadway.
          Where no sidewalk is provided, a pedestrian may walk only on the left shoulder or on the left
          side of the roadway, facing traffic.
          Penalty: $40 or up to $500.00.

          5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:14:57 (5/22)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 

           

          Next Race: Grete's Great Gallop 10K (8/27)

          Half Crazy K 2.0


            I think Julia is in DC or VA. I'm in MD, so familiar with their laws. I will say the whole sidewalk thing is rarely (ever?)enforced. I've watched people cross route 40 in the eastern part of Baltimore city not at a crosswalk and right in front of a cop and nothing happens.  It probably makes a difference if something bad happens and the person on foot is not following the law.

             

            iI am shocked there has not been a pedestrian accident in front of my house. People walk with their back to traffic by a blind turn while wearing headphones.  I've pissed a few runners off  by honking when they are in the middle of the street and oblivious to my car behind them. There are sidewalks on both sides.

             

            ETA, for a grown adult on a bike, if we are both following our rules, I wouldn't feel obligated to move. Little kids on bike, maybe, they tend to be really unpredictable and I give them a wide berth. Bikes on sidewalk, nope, not moving unless you are a little kid.

            Running Problem


            Problem Child

              NRS 484B.270  Vehicles, bicycles, electric bicycles, electric scooters and pedestrians: Driver’s duty of due care; additional penalty if driver is proximate cause of collision with person riding bicycle, electric bicycle or electric scooter.

              3.  The driver of a motor vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to any person riding a bicycle, an electric bicycle or an electric scooter or a pedestrian as provided in subsection 6 of NRS 484B.297 on the pathway or lane. The driver of a motor vehicle shall not enter, stop, stand, park or drive within a pathway or lane provided for bicycles, electric bicycles or electric scooters except:

              (a) When entering or exiting an alley or driveway;

              (b) When operating or parking a disabled vehicle;

              (c) To avoid conflict with other traffic;

              (d) In the performance of official duties;

              (e) In compliance with the directions of a police officer; or

              (f) In an emergency.

               

              NRS 484B.297  Walking along and upon highways; solicitation of ride, business or contribution from driver or occupant of vehicle prohibited in certain circumstances; intoxicated pedestrian prohibited within traveled portion of highway; applicability to riders of animals; applicability where sidewalk is obstructed; penalty.

              1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 6, where sidewalks are provided, it is unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent highway.

              2.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 6, pedestrians walking along highways where sidewalks are not provided shall walk on the left side of those highways facing the approaching traffic.

              A pedestrian walking or otherwise traveling on a sidewalk who encounters an obstruction to his or her mobility on the sidewalk, including, without limitation, a short section of the sidewalk that is missing or impassable, may proceed with due care on the immediately adjacent highway to move around such an obstruction. Such a pedestrian:

              (a) Must walk or otherwise travel as far to the side of the highway near the sidewalk as possible;

              (b) May walk or otherwise travel on the highway in the direction he or she was walking or traveling on the sidewalk, regardless of the direction of traffic;

              (c) May walk or otherwise travel in a lane provided for bicycles, electric bicycles or electric scooters if the area between the lane and the sidewalk is impassable; and

              (d) Must return to the sidewalk as soon as practicable.

              7.  A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.

               

              If you want to run on the highway in Nevada make sure you're running into oncoming traffic. You have the right of way. Feel free to explain this to the driver and cyclist who feel the law of tonnage apply, or who were turning right while looking left as millions of people do not expecting a bike or pedestrian to be walking into traffic. Remember....you're entitled to 3 feet of safe distance be provided to you by a vehicle. So when you're passing a runner the cars are required to move out of everyone's way, or just stop. Remember this next time you're pissed off at a car for doing some dumb shit and feel like ranting to your friends about some idiot driver in front of you.

              Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

              VDOT 54.9

              5k19:35 | Marathon 2:56:07

              Julia1971


                I think Julia is in DC or VA. I'm in MD, so familiar with their laws. I will say the whole sidewalk thing is rarely (ever?)enforced. I've watched people cross route 40 in the eastern part of Baltimore city not at a crosswalk and right in front of a cop and nothing happens.  It probably makes a difference if something bad happens and the person on foot is not following the law.

                 

                iI am shocked there has not been a pedestrian accident in front of my house. People walk with their back to traffic by a blind turn while wearing headphones.  I've pissed a few runners off  by honking when they are in the middle of the street and oblivious to my car behind them. There are sidewalks on both sides.

                 

                ETA, for a grown adult on a bike, if we are both following our rules, I wouldn't feel obligated to move. Little kids on bike, maybe, they tend to be really unpredictable and I give them a wide berth. Bikes on sidewalk, nope, not moving unless you are a little kid.

                 

                I'm in Northern Virginia.  I'm sure the state laws and local ordinances state pedestrians should be on sidewalks when available/face traffic.  I guess I should be glad this guy didn't make a citizen's arrest!

                Half Crazy K 2.0


                   

                  I'm in Northern Virginia.  I'm sure the state laws and local ordinances state pedestrians should be on sidewalks when available/face traffic.  I guess I should be glad this guy didn't make a citizen's arrest!

                   

                  Probably the subject of a hot debate on Nextdoor/Facebook/some other neighborhood gripe site.

                  Julia1971


                     

                    Probably the subject of a hot debate on Nextdoor/Facebook/some other neighborhood gripe site.

                     

                    Ugh!  No, that's all about the "Missing Middle" - people in the neighborhood are afraid developers are going to come in, buy single-family homes, and put in duplexes and condos instead. If it means getting easements to put in beautiful, smooth sidewalks, I'm all for it.  Wink

                      Had a huge confrontation with a cyclist on my run tonight.

                       

                      There was old guy riding on the sidewalk coming right at me. I stepped into the street, waved and said hi as we passed. He smiled and said hi back. Devastating.

                      Runners run

                      Julia1971


                        Had a huge confrontation with a cyclist on my run tonight.

                         

                        There was old guy riding on the sidewalk coming right at me. I stepped into the street, waved and said hi as we passed. He smiled and said hi back. Devastating.

                         

                        You missed the part where he muttered something about how back in his day, young whippersnappers like you would have done a proper, "Good Day to you, Sir" instead of this "Hi" nonsense.  I expect fisticuffs the next time.

                          He had me at whippersnapper!

                          Runners run

                            I do almost all of my running out on the roads. On a road with some traffic I feel safer being on the left facing the oncoming cars, at least I know where they are and will move as far off the road as I can until they pass. Cyclists are supposed to be on the right traveling in the same direction as cars and I will move to allow them to pass, it can be difficult to give enough room if cars are coming also. Sometimes I do run on the right side of the road if there are trucks or construction vehicles parked on the left side, or if farm equipment is coming and taking up all the space. Sometimes I might move to the right to get shade or a better running path. On some country roads I may run for an hour before any vehicle passes, in that situation I may even run in the middle of the road, just being careful to listen for approaching cars. Sidewalks have pedestrians who might be walking dogs or pushing a baby carriage and you might have to run off the sidewalk to go around them. Plus I've fallen and injured myself by my foot hitting an elevated crack, so I think sidewalks are more dangerous! I prefer the smooth asphalt road to the hard concrete anyway. Cars that honk or people who yell create a hazard by startling me and I have to be careful not to stray out into the road as I turn to see what the matter is. If you suddenly went across the cyclist's path as he approached you may have startled him and he has reason to be annoyed, otherwise he should mind his own business!

                            "My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.” 

                            Teresadfp


                            One day at a time

                              In Maine, it IS a law:  "Where sidewalks are not provided, a pedestrian shall walk facing approaching
                              traffic on the left side of the public way or the way's shoulder when practicable."

                               

                              So make sure to check our your particular state's regulations.

                              Half Crazy K 2.0


                                DC area folks, wasn't there a cyclist a year or two ago who assaulted some teenagers over a sign?

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