Running in Traffic

April 26, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Larry Claassen doesn’t want runners in the streets:

I’m not sure how the mind rationalizes that running in traffic is a healthy or wise activity, but let me tell you that neither of us wants you as a hood ornament. Running in the street is definitely bad for your health and my nerves.

Actually, Larry, it’s pretty easy to rationalize running in the street, albeit in limited situations. Granted, Lincoln is blessed with a great network of trails and a pretty respectable sidewalk infrastructure. But trails and sidewalks aren’t available everywhere, and they have their downsides. Trails and sidewalks themselves are quite safe for pedestrians, but crosswalks can be incredibly unsafe. I’m not sure how safe crosswalks are in other parts of the country, but in Lincoln, drivers almost always blow through crosswalks without a second thought. When approaching, say, a stop sign or a stop light at an intersection at which they want to make a right turn, most Lincoln drivers pull through the crosswalk and then look both ways. Now imagine you’re a runner entering that crosswalk right about then.

Sure, running in ‘O’ Street is probably unwise. But running in the street in residential areas with lots of intersections can actually increase a runner’s visibility to drivers, and therefore his safety. That can be especially true at night, when pedestrians approaching crosswalks can be very difficult to see until the last second. Assuming, of course, that the runner in question does her part to be safe, such as wearing bright clothing and obeying the law.

To the extent that Mr. Claassen is concerned for safety, I agree with him. But I disagree that sticking to the sidewalks and trails ought to be a runner’s only option. If street runners are really so bad for Mr. Claassen’s nerves, perhaps he just needs to pay a little more attention while driving.

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The Comments

Michael April 26, 2006 at 2:33pm

Hmm, looks like I might have been wrong when I said this would be a dead issue by the time I was allowed to publish another letter.

We need to get drivers like Larry and “Rhonda” (from the LJS comments section) off the streets, not bikes and runners.

beerorkid April 26, 2006 at 3:52pm

I was looking into different forms of exercise after getting a puter job and the pot belly from said job.  Got me some running shoes, and eventually a treadmill.  The shin pain sucked, looked it up and found that running on sidewalks is a major no no.

First you have very solid concrete, which can cause shin issues. Second cracks, uneven sections, etc… are dangerous.  Asphalt is much softer and smoother, aka more beterer wink

Anyway I am a uber bike dork now, the lifepartner uses the treadmill now.

So Larry, sorry your SUV with the W in 04 sticker is so big that it makes it a danger to others.

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