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Old 09-24-11, 09:34 PM   #1
Vicelord
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What's The Deal With Joggers/Runners?

Honest curiosity here, not pointing fingers or trying to start ****. I realize this is a bicycle forum, but I'm curious to get others thoughts from the cyclists perspective.

Why do joggers and runners insist on traveling against traffic, in the shoulder or bike lane of roads? I've heard the argument that it's so they can see cars coming, but wouldn't it open them up to cross traffic not seeing them due to looking the other way not expecting any traffic going the wrong way?

I have had many confused moments when I'm riding in a bike lane and a jogger is coming along toward me. My natural instinct is to go to the right, and they will too, so we can each safely pass. That's what we do in America, we move to the right. Sometimes, though, they try to go to their left, which sets us up for a head on crash. If they do move to their right emphatically, which sometimes happens, they end up playing chicken with traffic.

It just seems like it's not a good idea, by any stretch of the imagination. I'm no more visible than a jogger, and I move with traffic, and the below article states that 50% of bicycle accidents involve a bicycle traveling against traffic, so why is it less (or perceived to be less) dangerous for joggers?

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...fety-plan.html
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Old 09-24-11, 09:45 PM   #2
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I never run in the bike lane or in the street. I run on the sidewalk. If there weren't sidewalks in NYC, I'd run on the same side of the road I ride in. I'd personally NOT like to see the car that's going to run me over.

Also, drivers seem to "respect" runners more.
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Old 09-24-11, 09:52 PM   #3
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With the exception of maybe high level athletes, joggers and runners are generally going a speed slow enough relative to traffic that their direction of travel is inconsequential to faster vehicles (they look like they're standing still to drivers going 45+). They insist on using the shoulder or bike lane because asphalt is easier on the knees than concrete (theoretically). Running against traffic is a good idea as long as they use the reason you stated and pay attention. They see me coming ahead of time and can fall into a line so I can pick the other line. As for moving to the right, I think it's common expectation for the pedestrian to be closest to the curb. Look at is as you passing them (even though you're going opposite directions, you are technically in a one-way lane) and you always pass on the left.

It is highly debatable, including the fact that if there is a sidewalk, the runners are legally required to be on it instead of in the street (at least here in CA), but I've had few problems with runners on the street as most of them jump up on the curb or hug the gutter long before I get there. Bike paths and MUPs, however... oh, don't get me started.
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Old 09-24-11, 09:53 PM   #4
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it's easier to jump on some lawn if you can see the car coming to hit you.

That's why I do it when I run.
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Old 09-24-11, 09:56 PM   #5
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what do you mean by shoulder?

as in sidewalk? you can jog on whatever sidewalk you want. its 2 way. it doesnt matter if your against or with traffic because youre not on the road. on the other hand, cyclists ARE on the road so they have to behave as any other vehicle.

as for the jogging in bike lanes, i have no clue. had that happen to me today actually and i got p*ssed off.

when im joggin i never am on the actual road unless im crossing streets or unless theres no sidewalk
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Old 09-24-11, 09:58 PM   #6
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what do you mean by shoulder?

as in sidewalk? you can jog on whatever sidewalk you want. its 2 way. it doesnt matter if your against or with traffic because youre not on the road. on the other hand, cyclists ARE on the road so they have to behave as any other vehicle.

as for the jogging in bike lanes, i have no clue. had that happen to me today actually and i got p*ssed off.

when im joggin i never am on the actual road unless im crossing streets or unless theres no sidewalk
I don't mean any offense, but do you live in the sticks? Are there no curb and gutters where you are? Sidewalks and shoulders are totally different things.
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Old 09-24-11, 10:01 PM   #7
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Made sense to me. I figure the "shoulder" is the part of the roadway not in the specified lane of travel. This could be the parking zone, excess pavement before the curb, or anything to the right of the fog line. I certainly didn't think you meant you were riding on the sidewalk. Maybe zazenzach was confused.
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Old 09-24-11, 10:05 PM   #8
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I don't mean any offense, but do you live in the sticks? Are there no curb and gutters where you are? Sidewalks and shoulders are totally different things.
lol no clue what the sticks is.

agree with urban is saying, i just dunno what you mean by "shoulder." i need to work on my english i think.
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Old 09-24-11, 10:07 PM   #9
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Around here the "shoulder" is synonymous with "ditch".
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Old 09-24-11, 10:09 PM   #10
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This is from the CA drivers handbook:

If there are no sidewalks, walk facing oncoming traffic (see graphic). Do not walk or jog on any freeway where signs tell you that pedestrians are not allowed. Do not walk or jog in a bike lane unless there is no sidewalk.

Google "jogging and traffic" and most sites tell runners to run facing traffic because its safer based on the premise two sets of eyes are better than one.
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Old 09-24-11, 10:14 PM   #11
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lol no clue what the sticks is.
The middle of nowhere. BFE. The boonies. The outback.
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Old 09-24-11, 10:16 PM   #12
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Pedestrians walk against traffic by law and custom.
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Old 09-24-11, 10:16 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mike F View Post
This is from the CA drivers handbook:

If there are no sidewalks, walk facing oncoming traffic (see graphic). Do not walk or jog on any freeway where signs tell you that pedestrians are not allowed. Do not walk or jog in a bike lane unless there is no sidewalk.

Google "jogging and traffic" and most sites tell runners to run facing traffic because its safer based on the premise two sets of eyes are better than one.
^ This. Jogging with traffic is akin to riding a bike against traffic - just wrong.

Since you refer to "the sticks", I'm guessing you're in a city somewhere. If so, I would run on the sidewalk.
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Old 09-24-11, 11:11 PM   #14
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Pretty much all of the joggers in the Agoura Hills/Westlake area all run in the bike lanes...against traffic.
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Old 09-25-11, 12:04 AM   #15
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I run against traffic as well - and on the shoulder, if there is one: it is easier than running on the sidewalk with pedestrians.

You know how us roadies tend to think drivers shouldnt get so upset at having to slow down for a few seconds in order to pass a cyclist, and that sharing the road is good? Same goes for cyclists - share the road. Having to slow down for a few seconds to pass an incoming runner isnt the end of the world.
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Old 09-25-11, 12:07 AM   #16
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On military bases, when we jog in formation, it is always against traffic. This is mandated at multiple US bases I've been to all over the world.

I think this allows for both runner and driver to see/acknowledge each other

Bikers though have to follow flow of traffic
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Old 09-25-11, 12:45 AM   #17
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Why do joggers and runners insist on traveling against traffic, in the shoulder or bike lane of roads?
How about ........ because it is the law???

And most joggers I know will move over onto the grass, not out toward the traffic. What are you doing to confuse them?
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Old 09-25-11, 03:32 AM   #18
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Where I live/ride, that's how it works. The joggers move against traffic; we cyclists move with it. However, we all move right when passing... and we wave. So friendly in the the 'burbs, we.
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Old 09-25-11, 04:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Vicelord View Post
Why do joggers and runners insist on traveling against traffic, in the shoulder or bike lane of roads?
It's actually the law in most place if not all places.

For example:

Pedestrians must travel against traffic when walking in the road, use sidewalks whenever available, and use marked crossings whenever possible. Motorists and bicyclists must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, both marked and unmarked, when making a right turn on red, or as instructed by law enforcement or traffic control devices.
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Old 09-25-11, 05:20 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Vicelord View Post
Honest curiosity here, not pointing fingers or trying to start ****. I realize this is a bicycle forum, but I'm curious to get others thoughts from the cyclists perspective.

Why do joggers and runners insist on traveling against traffic, in the shoulder or bike lane of roads? I've heard the argument that it's so they can see cars coming, but wouldn't it open them up to cross traffic not seeing them due to looking the other way not expecting any traffic going the wrong way?

I have had many confused moments when I'm riding in a bike lane and a jogger is coming along toward me. My natural instinct is to go to the right, and they will too, so we can each safely pass. That's what we do in America, we move to the right. Sometimes, though, they try to go to their left, which sets us up for a head on crash. If they do move to their right emphatically, which sometimes happens, they end up playing chicken with traffic.

It just seems like it's not a good idea, by any stretch of the imagination. I'm no more visible than a jogger, and I move with traffic, and the below article states that 50% of bicycle accidents involve a bicycle traveling against traffic, so why is it less (or perceived to be less) dangerous for joggers?

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...fety-plan.html
You mean you go further to the edge of the road ? If so, I don't think that's a good idea. When a runner is coming, we always move out into the road a bit more, to our left. On a group ride, we signal the riders behind to move over .... never a problem.
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Old 09-25-11, 05:22 AM   #21
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Vice, isnt it like 4am in AZ right now? shouldnt you be sleeping and preparing for your run-ins with sunday drivers and joggers? later.
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Old 09-25-11, 05:32 AM   #22
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Buddy???

Last edited by BillyD; 09-25-11 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 09-25-11, 05:49 AM   #23
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I think it's probably because it's the law. Also, as a frequent runner in addition to avid cyclist, I can assure you that cyclists do things to runners that are just as stupid and irritating as what cars do to cyclists. I can't tell you the number of times I've had to jump out of the way of a cyclist who wasn't paying attention.
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Old 09-25-11, 06:03 AM   #24
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I run against traffic as well - and on the shoulder, if there is one: it is easier than running on the sidewalk with pedestrians.

You know how us roadies tend to think drivers shouldnt get so upset at having to slow down for a few seconds in order to pass a cyclist, and that sharing the road is good? Same goes for cyclists - share the road. Having to slow down for a few seconds to pass an incoming runner isnt the end of the world.
Well said.
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Old 09-25-11, 06:44 AM   #25
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On my routes, I occassionally have runners using the same shoulder as me, running towards me. I move to my left, they move to their left. Sometimes we even wave.
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