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Letter: Running in the Street Is Dangerous

Albany resident Jeanne Gray Loughman asks if others are as alarmed as she is about jogging in the street. We'd like to know what our readers think. You can tell us in the comments.

To the Editor,

Is the increasingly dangerous practice of runners running in the streets between moving traffic and parked cars of as great a concern to others as it is to me?  Is it legal?  99% of the runners I see have earphones plugged in – also terribly dangerous.  Many barely stop or pause at corners to check traffic before entering an intersection.  I consider myself a safe driver, but this street-running is more than distressing.  Because a runner can see the cars doesn’t mean the cars can see the runner, often even in the daytime.  Rarely do the runners wear any type of reflective vest or flashing safety lights after dusk.  If I honk politely and motion them to please move to the sidewalk for their own safety, I usually get impolite responses.  The street-running is as scary to me as the continued frighteningly low-lighting of Solano Avenue in Albany which makes pedestrians nearly invisible to drivers at night.  When crossing as a pedestrian, I now carry a flashlight with me now to alert drivers to my presence in the intersection. 

Just in the past few days, I have driven (carefully) alongside one runner (earphones in) who was made completely invisible three times within the same block of Arlington Avenue as the early morning sun hit my windshield.  Another time, in the late evening darkness, a runner running against traffic was not at all visible just a few feet from my car until my headlights caught him.  In both cases, someone could have hit these two runners, both of whom appeared to be oblivious to the danger.  Bicyclists, like drivers, watching for moving cars, parked cars pulling out, and car doors opening, surely must have the same concerns about runners in the street. 

Jeanne Gray Loughman
Albany

SteveWu January 16, 2014 at 07:07 PM
Ha ha Dorthy! (d) In the even you are on Solano, please walk in the street to avoid cars that crash across the sidewalk through the front windows of Solano businesses every month. (e) always run on the left side of the car so the don't hit you when they veer right to start their uturn (f) do not slow down when running through an intersection, the car behind won't either (g) in the even the car is being driven by an annoying prat with a phone in one hand, and a phone headset in the other, politely give them the appropriate signal
dorthy manser January 16, 2014 at 07:33 PM
I think we can agree that anyone with a cell phone in their hand when driving should be forced to jog to work.
dorthy manser January 16, 2014 at 07:48 PM
(e) when crossing the street while walking across the street, do not look up from your cell phone. What you are doing is important, and you have a right not to pay attention to cars, who shouldn't exist in the first place. (f) crossing at crosswalks is optional (see (e)). (g) Once your are on two wheels, all traffic laws are optional. Your virtue will serve as invisible shield for you and your children. (h) If you decide that a road is particularly fun, it is now your road - use as much or little of it as you want. (i) bike lights at night are optional (see (g).
Dave January 16, 2014 at 11:43 PM
Dorthy and SteveWu-Well played!
dorthy manser January 17, 2014 at 06:06 AM
I solute my worthy opponent : )

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