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  • Writer's pictureClaire Marie

Pedestrian Road Safety

When I'm out for a neighborhood walk or a run, I'm that person who tries to wave at every passing car or cyclist and speak to every other walker or runner on the road. For me, it's mostly a safety thing. With cars, I want the driver to know that I've seen them and to know that they see me. It's something similar for cyclists. (Heaven forbid that I get run over by a cyclist one day.) For other walkers and runners, it's not just a safety thing but also a matter of being friendly. As I've been out and about, I've made some observations.

First - there are a LOT of people that walk or run on the wrong side of the road, meaning they aren't facing traffic. This is something I learned in grammar school. Didn't you? If you aren't on a sidewalk and you aren't facing traffic, how in the world are you ever going to hear that Tesla or Volt come up behind you? You could get seriously injured because you didn't get out of the way. Seeing them coming could save your life.

Second - people are weird. Yes, I already knew this but seriously - runners don't talk to walkers and walkers don't talk to runners. Why not? I have my theories, but I really have no idea. Meanwhile, I'm single handedly trying to change this as I go on my run/walks - I make it a point to say "good morning" or "hi" (because that's all the breath I have) to everyone I see. Most respond in kind, but there are still some that don't. Really? Is my running intimidating you or is my walking beneath you? I don't care who you are, I'm gonna speak. Be nice and respond. Otherwise, I'm gonna think you're up to some shady shit.

Third - (and this may not be strictly from a pedestrian viewpoint) cyclists barely acknowledge anyone's existence and break a LOT of laws. I get it - stopping at every stop sign in a neighborhood is a PITA and generally unnecessary but running a traffic light on a major roadway is just plain stupid. Another thing (which may just be a Georgia thing), if it's a law that I (in my car) have to stay 3 feet away from you on your bicycle as I travel down the road, why don't you have to stay 3 feet away from me as you illegally pass me at a traffic light? Hmmm? Please explain. There are definitely more things with cyclists, but this is my current issue.

Anyway, those are my observations and comments on road safety. What do you think? Have you noticed any of these? Do you walk on the correct side of the road? Do you speak to others?

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