Originally Posted by LawrenceMD
I don't get why people jog/run in the street when there is a perfectly clear sidewalk less than 3 feet away from them.
I see this a lot in Connecticut where you'll have runners running properly against car traffic, but right on the street in the lane. And the sidewalk is totally clear for miles. I realize that roads are to be shared by everyone, like bicycles, motorcycles, and vehicles but why take the chance? One thing about these suburban drivers is that they're often distracted (be it kids in a mini van with mom driving, a driver on a cellphone or just someone spaced out) you could easily be driven straight into.
is it a machismo thing? are you viewed as a non serious runner if you're on the clear assed sidewalk?
Blacktop asphalt tends to be a bit easier on joints than sidewalk concrete.
Although it obviously can vary by location, paved streets tend to be better maintained and generally better footing than sidewalks.
I have had more close calls with idiots backing out of driveways, etc when I have run on sidewalks than with vehicles actually on the street.
In many places, sidewalks are frequently jammed up by pedestrians, bikers (the kind who are too young or just too obnoxious to ride in the street, people watering their lawns, pets, and people who park their cars right across the sidewalk. If you tend to run in a place like that and therefore get in the habit of running in the street, you tend to stick to that rather than jump back and forth depending on the variability of immediate conditions.
I often run on the street, facing traffic so that I can see what's coming. That usually feels much safer to me than running on the sidewalk, for the reasons I listed. But I only do so when I can run on the side of the road with enough room to not bock drivers. If I come to a place where there are a bunch of cars parked on the road or other conditions where a driver who is not a complete dipshit would feel compelled to slow down to avoid the risk of hitting me, I'll move over to the sidewalk (when there is one). Running out in the lane so as to obstruct traffic is obnoxious.