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