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Approaching a Cyclist - Which Side of the Road? (Read 127 times)

Fredford66


Running Musician

     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.

     

    I agree completely.  In addition, where I am, sidewalks tend to have hazards such as bushes growing over the walks from the sides, low hanging tree branches, and cars in driveways partially or fully blocking the sidewalk (illegal, but frequent).  On top of that, concrete is simply a harder surface than asphalt and thus harder on your legs.  I'll take running on the road against traffic over sidewalks on all but the busiest or narrowest streets.

     

    In NJ, the state advises pedestrians to face traffic when on streets.  We also just passed a law requiring cars to stay at least 4' away from cyclists or pedestrians when passing them on the road, and if that's not possible due to available space on the road, then slow down to 25 mph - not that a whole lot of drivers do that, but it is a brand new law.  NJ law also actually requires pedestrians, including joggers to use sidewalks when available but then acknowledges some sidewalks are in poor condition and may not be safe to run on, so there's room for interpretation there.  (Sadly, they do use the term "jogger", though maybe that means it doesn't apply to runners? )

    5k 23:48.45 (3/22); 4M 31:26 (2/22); 5M 39:24 (11/21); 10k 50:32 (10/21); Half 1:50:46 (4/22)

    Upcoming race(s): Firecracker 4 Mile, 7/4; Italy Run 4M, 7/16
    darkwave


    Mother of Cats

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

       

      You're talking about this one.

       

      But there was also this one.

       

      And this one.

       

      Our cyclists buy their bikes at Thunderdome.

      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.

      Julia1971


         

        You're talking about this one.

         

        But there was also this one.

         

        And this one.

         

        Our cyclists buy their bikes at Thunderdome.

         

        On a lighter note, I'm waiting to read a story about the unicycle guy.  He's not a runner (or is he?) but I feel like I can't be alone in wanting to see him as a guest on Pace The Nation someday.

          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.

           

          Doesn't mention running though so we good

          Runners run

          Fredford66


          Running Musician

            Sometimes, my problem is other runners.  I've been on narrow roads without sidewalks, running against traffic as per the rules, and I'm faced with an oncoming runner at the same time there's oncoming traffic and there's not really room for all of us.

            5k 23:48.45 (3/22); 4M 31:26 (2/22); 5M 39:24 (11/21); 10k 50:32 (10/21); Half 1:50:46 (4/22)

            Upcoming race(s): Firecracker 4 Mile, 7/4; Italy Run 4M, 7/16
            darkwave


            Mother of Cats

               

              On a lighter note, I'm waiting to read a story about the unicycle guy.  He's not a runner (or is he?) but I feel like I can't be alone in wanting to see him as a guest on Pace The Nation someday.

               

              Agreed.  That guy, and also Skinny Santa (maybe there's another name for him, but that's how I think of him).  He's that older guy that I regularly see on the Cap Crescent or in Rock Creek Park - rail thin body of an elite ultra-marathoner combined with the hairdo and beard of Santa.

              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.

              Half Crazy K 2.0


                Sometimes, my problem is other runners.  I've been on narrow roads without sidewalks, running against traffic as per the rules, and I'm faced with an oncoming runner at the same time there's oncoming traffic and there's not really room for all of us.

                 

                Oh definitely. This regularly happens on a narrow no-sidewalk road by me. Often they are walking on the wrong side just over the crest of a small hill, so by the time a car sees them, it's gonna be a close call.

                 

                My big pet peeve is the folks who cannot stop a conversation for a few seconds to share the sidewalk (runners and walkers). You can fit 2 or 3 people on the sidewalk, take the few seconds on go single file and we can all share.

                 

                ETA, here in Baltimore, we have running man. He has to be in his 60s or 70s. I have seen him all over the place. In the summer, I would often see him running on my drive home from work, when it was really hot out. He would have what looked like a gallon of water.

                  Here in the suburbs north of Boston we have BMX guy. He's the hero we need.

                  Runners run

                  robin from maine


                    I am in a relatively rural area, with very few sidewalks, and the sidewalks are not really runnable, so I run on the road, facing traffic. I try to run defensively, keeping an eye on what direction an oncoming vehicle's wheels are pointed (much more valuable than trying to make eye contact.) I feel that cyclists are much more vulnerable than I am, so I will move to the left, onto a dirt or grass shoulder if necessary, to allow them to safely pass without being more vulnerable to the traffic. If necessary for my safety, I will stop, prepared to move away from the road, whether it be a driveway, intersection or passing vehicle. It's one of the things that I can do as a runner that is much more difficult for a driver or cyclist.

                     

                    I am grateful that the vast majority of drivers, and all of the cyclists I seem to meet have been thoughtful and courteous.

                     

                    It may help that I am clearly a little old lady.

                    kcam


                       

                      This is how the interaction has always gone with me. I always run against traffic, and stay as close to the curb as possible. It's the biker's responsibility to be aware of his/her surroundings. Usually, they have a mirror (or should) so they can see what's behind them.

                       

                      I definitely would not switch sides of the road: I never ride a bike, but I can see that being super jarring. It's like when you're running behind a pedestrian and all of a sudden they dart to the right. In their mind, they're doing the right thing by moving all the way to the right, but the main thing you want from anyone in any traffic situation (car, bike, skiing down a mountain, etc.) is predictability.

                      Predictability is utmost.  When being passed by someone on a trail, road, track on a bike or running or walking the best thing one can do is .... HOLD YOUR LINE if you're the passee.  The bike situation where you're both the passer means it's encumbant on the biker to avoid you.  Just hold your line.

                      Half Crazy K 2.0


                        Yesterrday I had a cyclist come up behind me on the sidewalk when i was approaching an intersection. I could feel someone behind me. Only reason I moved a bit was that dude was making no attempt to either get off the bike or ride in the grass. He turned and continued on the sidewalk. I didn't wait around to see if he moved to the bike lane when it became available. Telling him he's an ass wouldn't have made a difference since he also had on headphones. Less than a minute laterr, I watched an idiot driver drive the wrong way down a busy road to get into a popular diner. Fortunately, no other craziness occured.

                        rlopez


                          This thread started out very predictably and yeah, of course it did.

                          BUT then, in came the references to unicycle guy, and a skinny santa, and a bmx guy. This is the good stuff.

                           

                          Here in Indiana, we have Recumbent Bike guys.... boooo....

                           

                          Anyway, I'm pretty set on the rules and the etiquette... but then I got a rescue pooch. And this experience (now 3 1/2 years into it) has made me realize how wrong I'd been handling dogs as a jogger for the previous 18 years of my running life.

                           

                          Now when I'm out and I encounter a person with a dog, I just give them a wide berth. I don't care whether they are facing the right way, or I am, or whatever... I just let them be.

                          llbworld6


                            Nice

                            Julia1971


                              This thread started out very predictably and yeah, of course it did.

                              BUT then, in came the references to unicycle guy, and a skinny santa, and a bmx guy. This is the good stuff.

                               

                              Here in Indiana, we have Recumbent Bike guys.... boooo....

                               

                              Anyway, I'm pretty set on the rules and the etiquette... but then I got a rescue pooch. And this experience (now 3 1/2 years into it) has made me realize how wrong I'd been handling dogs as a jogger for the previous 18 years of my running life.

                               

                              Now when I'm out and I encounter a person with a dog, I just give them a wide berth. I don't care whether they are facing the right way, or I am, or whatever... I just let them be.

                               

                              I adopted a greyhound last year and perhaps predictably when she sees runners she thinks she's racing again and starts chasing them (if she sees them ahead) or galloping to stay ahead (if they're coming from behind).  It's very cute.  Edited to add: we're trying to train some of this out of her. For example, teaching her to heel so when she sees things that excite her - rabbits, cats, and runners - she won't give chase. Didn't want to imply that I thought it was cute that she wants to chase runners.

                              DavePNW


                                 

                                Now when I'm out and I encounter a person with a dog, I just give them a wide berth. I don't care whether they are facing the right way, or I am, or whatever... I just let them be.

                                 

                                Same. Ever since I got bitten by one while passing too close on the sidewalk. Of course, according to the owner, “he never does that.” Wrong, he just did.

                                Dave

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