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Old 04-12-2008, 05:09 PM
 
529 posts, read 2,495,207 times
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Hi
It's me being curious again. I was the one who wondered why folks let their dogs off leash in the front yard to potty when they have a fenced backyard.

I have another curiosity question. Not complaining, just curious.

Why do folks walk in the street where there is perfectly good sidewalk? I live in a newer section of Live Oak where the concrete sidewalk is nice and even and there is grass on one side and the homeowner's yard on the other side. I see people walking and/or jogging in the street all the time. What really gets me is that a lot of them walk in the right side - they can't see traffic coming. And they aren't walking on the shoulder of the road, they are so far in the road that I have to go all the way over to the other lane to get around them.

If someone were jogging and they were concerned about uneven sidewalks, I might understand. But like I said the sidewalk is smooth and even. And some of these peopel are on casual strolls. If I were going to walk in the street, I would walk facing traffice.

Sometimes, late in the evening when there isn't much traffic, I walk my dogs in the road. Since I have two medium dogs with me, it's easier to keep them out of folk's yards when all three of us are walking at the same time, but I always move to the sidewalk whenever I see or hear a car coming. I have plenty of time to move because I see the headlight long before the car arrives.

I remember when I lived in another state once, there was this couple jogging side by side on the right side of the road taking up the entire right side. I gently beeped my horn assuming they didn't hear my truck behind them. They looked at me and continued taking up the entire street. Didn't bother to get in single file to give me room to pass or anything. The road was very curvy so I had to ride behind them for a while before it was safe to pass.

Just wondering.

Thanks!

Last edited by shenane; 04-12-2008 at 05:30 PM..
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Old 04-12-2008, 05:23 PM
 
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Great idea for a thread. I've wondered the same thing. Also, wondered why people don't jog/walk in the opposite direction of traffic--safer that way.
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Old 04-12-2008, 07:27 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
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In my neighborhood, there are a variety of reasons why I'll walk in the street rather than on the sidewalk. In a lot of spots in our neighborhood, the sidewalk just ends suddenly (in one spot for just 10 feet) and then picks up again. In other spots, people have let their bushes/trees grow so that it's hard to get by. Finally, several of the driveway cuts on the sidewalk are steep and sudden. All of these aren't a big deal if I'm walking by myself, but I almost always have the dog with me, and more often than not I'm pushing a stroller, and it's just much easier to handle them both on the street without having to worry about any of the aforementioned items.

I'd love to have wide, continuous sidewalks in our neighborhood. I'm always nervous in the street, especially the way some people drive around here.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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Thanks slaleman for your point of view. It makes sense.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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I'm guilty but I have reasons. I live in a older inner 410 neighborhood and in some blocks there are no sidewalks. In others they are so eroded that it's just common sense to avoid them. but I actually walk on the opposite flow so I can see the traffic come by.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:28 PM
cwh
 
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If you are jogging, asphalt is easier on the joints than concrete.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slaleman View Post
In a lot of spots in our neighborhood, the sidewalk just ends suddenly (in one spot for just 10 feet) and then picks up again.
The fact that most towns and cities in Texas have these intermittent sidewalks(if at all) is really puzzling and infuriating to me. The lack of pedestrian infrastructure here just screams CARS MATTER MORE THAN PEOPLE! I was told by someone in the know that in the past, developers would occasionally throw in a bone and install a bit of sidewalk for the houses of which they were responsible. No real codes etc...It's pretty lousy.

I'm glad I'm not in a wheelchair.

As for the direction of walking, from a physics standpoint, when you walk against traffic, you are actually adding to the impact: car's speed + your speed together...ouch! Going in the same direction is usually better. Of course the speed differential is so large, it might not make a difference if you got hit But this is especially important on bikes. Going against traffic is outdated advice.
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twange View Post
The fact that most towns and cities in Texas have these intermittent sidewalks(if at all) is really puzzling and infuriating to me. The lack of pedestrian infrastructure here just screams CARS MATTER MORE THAN PEOPLE! I was told by someone in the know that in the past, developers would occasionally throw in a bone and install a bit of sidewalk for the houses of which they were responsible. No real codes etc...It's pretty lousy.

I'm glad I'm not in a wheelchair.

As for the direction of walking, from a physics standpoint, when you walk against traffic, you are actually adding to the impact: car's speed + your speed together...ouch! Going in the same direction is usually better. Of course the speed differential is so large, it might not make a difference if you got hit But this is especially important on bikes. Going against traffic is outdated advice.
They meant by running/walking on the opposite side you can see the traffic coming so if there is a drunk driver then you can see ahead of time and hopefully avoid it but if your going with the traffic you can't see behind you and this puts you in more danger.
Also most people like to run with some sort of device like a ipod or something and this would block out most noise so this prevent some people from hearing the traffic so it's better to go against the traffic.
As for bikes it's against the law to ride against the traffic cause they are considered a vehicle and have to obey the same traffic laws as any other vehicle on the road.
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:31 AM
 
529 posts, read 2,495,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwh View Post
If you are jogging, asphalt is easier on the joints than concrete.


Thanks. That cleared up my curiosity about joggers a little. I always assumed they were afraid they would stumble on uneven pavement or something. I used to jog quite a bit when I was in the military. As soon as I retired I stopped because of achy joints. Maybe I should have tried to the road


Quote:
Originally Posted by twange View Post
The fact that most towns and cities in Texas have these intermittent sidewalks(if at all) is really puzzling and infuriating to me. The lack of pedestrian infrastructure here just screams CARS MATTER MORE THAN PEOPLE! ...>>.[/quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by twange View Post
]

I totally agree. Might be one of the reasons we are one of the fattest cities. I feel the same way about stairs in buildings. The stairs are dark and scary and not ventilated and in some buildings the stairs are cypherlocked. I never understood using an elevator unless you have to (carrying big or heavy objects, mobility issues, etc..). Elevators don't save any time and you get a little more exercise if you take the stairs.


>>As for the direction of walking, from a physics standpoint, when you walk against traffic, you are actually adding to the impact: .....
>>

I see your point, but don't think it applies if you are walking at a speed of 1 mile per hour and a car hits you going 35 miles per hour.

.>>...As for bikes it's against the law to ride against the traffic cause they are considered a vehicle and have to obey the same traffic laws as any other vehicle on the road.[/quote]

Agree, bikes are supposed to ride WITH traffic.
Speeking of bikes - another peeve of mine. I don't mind if people want to ride their bikes on the sidewalk (even thought it's probably illegal) but I would really appreciate it if the riders slow down or stop when they encounter me walking my dog on the same sidewalk. It's so scary.
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
2,357 posts, read 7,076,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenane View Post
Agree, bikes are supposed to ride WITH traffic.
Speeking of bikes - another peeve of mine. I don't mind if people want to ride their bikes on the sidewalk (even thought it's probably illegal) but I would really appreciate it if the riders slow down or stop when they encounter me walking my dog on the same sidewalk. It's so scary.
I know that here in Austin it's illegal to ride on the sidewalk but it's usually not enforced, since not all of the streets are bike friendly. Even the ones that do have lanes can be sort of scary. Texas isn't a real mecca for "share the road" driving behavior. Yea, bikes should ALWAYS defer to pedestrians. You're right, it's scary and inconsiderate. When I see one coming, I usually keep my dog really close and get ready to bail if necessary. It really bums me out when I'm on a hiking trail and some mountain biker(who thinks the trail is for them only) comes chugging along as fast as possible and expects me to move and looks annoyed when I don't.

Idiots.
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