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Is it illegal to run on the road if there is a sidewalk? (Read 1707 times)

    When I do my long runs, part of it is on a 2-mile stretch of road of which only about 1/3 has a sidewalk (it's all in a new development area). I certainly need to run on the road when there is no sidewalk, but on this particular stretch, where there is a sidewalk, it is severly sloped and I run on road instead. I run facing traffic. This past Sunday, one driver was pretty agitated pointing to the sidewalk presumeably for me to run on the sidewalk. While I ignored her, I was wondering if we're allowed to run on the road even when there is a sidewalk? I realize this may be state-dependant so in my case, I'm in TX, but it would be interesting in knowing what the law is in other states. There are signs on the roads around me that indicate that cyclists must be on the road, but no signs that say pedestrians must be on the sidewalk. Of course, if I were simply walking, I would walk on the sidewalk as it's much safer. On many occassions, I see cop cars passing me and none have ever indicated I should get off the road.
    Derek
      Since people have been walking and running WELL before cars were invented I highly doubt it's illegal to run on the road even if there is a side walk available. Gawd knows I haven't been using the sidewalks this past week ( of course they are covered in snow and ice and you can't see them) but even if they weren't I would still be running on the road.

      Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson


      I fly.

        There was an article in Runner's World a few years ago about a woman who was ticketed for running in the street and not on the sidewalk. The judge (also a runner) threw the ticket out. I have no idea what state it was (maybe Florida?) -- it was probably about 5 years ago, maybe longer.

        Bring it on.

          Screw that! I assume you pay taxes? F@#$ those drivers and run on... Question authority before authority questions you. Sorry, feeling a bit punchy today.


          You'll ruin your knees!

            Derek, I have been running off and on for years in Texas and have NEVER had this come up! I have also heard about runners being hassled (by police) about running on the sidewalk, but still don't see where there would be a problem. I don't think you need to worry yourself with it. That said... From Governor Rick Perry's website..."Provides that a pedestrian may use a public roadway instead of a sidewalk in instances where the sidewalk is inaccessible." "Section 10.40.030 Pedestrians walking along roadways. A. Where sidewalks are provided it is unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway. B. Where sidewalks are not provided any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall when practicable walk only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction. (Ord. 2940 § 10.3, 1962)" from the city of Riverside, CA

            ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

              "Section 10.40.030 Pedestrians walking along roadways. A. Where sidewalks are provided it is unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway. B. Where sidewalks are not provided any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall when practicable walk only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction. (Ord. 2940 § 10.3, 1962)" from the city of Riverside, CA
              This is actually pretty interesting. It would seem that in Riverside, CA, it would be illegal for me to run on the road. I did a Google search and didn't find anything specific for my area, but it seems that there are quite a lot of other places where it is also illegal to walk (and I assume run also) on the roadway if there is a sidewalk available. From what I found, it seems to be a city-level law and not a state-level law as I assumed in my original post.
              Derek
              Running Bear


                I can see where the driver you encountered would be a little agitated with you, she probably needs most of the paved area to weave all over while she's talking on her cell phone. With that in mind perhaps she was only thinking of your safety! And any rate I would hope Gov. Perry would be understanding since he's a runner too.
                  I live in Maryland and I'm not going to go and search it (at least not right now.), but there was a peice in the paper several months ago where a runner complained about cars parked on the shoulder of a main road near my home. He felt it was an inconveinence that he should have to run around these cars and out into the road on his morning runs. I also run this road and I don't really car about running around a parked car. The editor, in his reply, noted that is is illegal to (in Maryland), to run on the road where a sidewalk is accessible!
                    I also live in North TX, and I run in the road. The sidewalks are uneven and slanted so bad it hurts to run on them. Cars are parked in the driveways across the side walks, so it is up and down and around those cars if I do run on the sidewalk. Cars will turn in front of me and cut me off turning into thier driveways, if I run on the sidewalk. Cars will back over me when I run on the sidewalk, if I am in the street they mostly stop to see if a car is comming at least. I wave at the police as they cruise the neighborhood while running in the street, so far no problems.
                    Age is not an illusion
                      We have a saying over here - "if in doubt ask a policeman". Albeit that was probably from the days when you actually saw policemen walking the beat! Roll eyes BTW - Running Bear's comment re cell phones. A law has just been passed here in the UK banning people from using mobiles whilst driving unless using a hands-free kit. Is that not the law in the US??

                      2013

                      3000 miles

                      Sub 19:00 for 5K  05-03-13 Clee Prom 5K - 19:00:66 that was bloody close!

                      Sub-40:00 for 10K 17-03-13 Gainsborough 10K - 39:43

                      Sub 88:00 for HM

                       

                        Only in certain states Chris. Hopefull it won't be long and it will be banned where I live as well. I mean with Blue tooth WHY does anyone need to use their hands anyways?

                        Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson

                          Only in certain states Chris. Hopefull it won't be long and it will be banned where I live as well. I mean with Blue tooth WHY does anyone need to use their hands anyways?
                          Of course, being hands free doesn't make it any safer: http://www.livescience.com/technology/060313_driving.html Personally, when I'm out running on the roads, I'd rather take my chances with a drunk than an idiot with a cell phone, hands free or not. The drunk is probably at least trying to pay attention. And upon further Googling, it turns out I'm right - the drunks actually are safer, as long as they're not truly blitzed: http://www.livescience.com/technology/050201_cell_danger.html As for Derek's original post - yeah, most municipalities have laws prohibiting running/walking in the street if sidewalks are present; and yeah, it's pretty much always going to be local. But I seriously doubt anyone's going to bother you, unless you're truly causing a safety hazard, and doing it pretty blatantly. For the record, it's most likely also "illegal" in your jurisdiction to spit on the sidewalk. So watch that spitting next time you're running. Wink Fortunately, the likelihood of either "law" being enforced isn't very high. Ironically, it's probably techinically "illegal" for the chick in the car to take her hands off the wheel to gesture at you. And she's certainly a lot more dangerous than you were. Probably went home and kicked her dog, too. Nice. Hope you gestured back. Cars are my least favorite thing about running. Especially here in Redneck Central.
                          E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
                          -----------------------------

                            For the record, it's most likely also "illegal" in your jurisdiction to spit on the sidewalk. So watch that spitting next time you're running. Wink
                            What about a snot rocket??
                              Concrete sidewalks are also much tougher on the knees!!
                                From the perspective of the driver, here is my example. There is a gal that often walks in the street (facing traffic, looking down at the ground) on the route I take to work every morning. One morning last fall there was a horrible glare on my windshield from the sun and I was about 8 feet from her before I SAW her. Scared the living daylights out of me because I was so close to running her over (no I wasnt on the phone either!) and she was so UNAWARE that she didn't even notice me. Btw there is a sidewalk on the opposite side of the street, so I've often wondered why she walks in the road (this is a street that has roundabouts at the intersections too, that's a dangerous place for a pedestrian during rush hour Shocked).
                                ---- Cynthia
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