This may come as a shock to some of you but there are stop signs and traffic lights for a reason! As a runner we see our life flash before our eyes many times when running urban areas. I live near Bardstown road and I believe everyone who drives B-town is a complete drunk. If I was a police officer I would sit on Bardstown Rd all day every day. There are multiple traffic violations which occur back to back; number one is running stop signs and/or traffic lights. RED means STOP. If you have run in an urban area you have more than likely slammed your hands on the hood of a car. It amazes me how many people are in such a rush they do not yield at stop signs. We are all guilty of rolling through a stop sign (at least slow down and look both ways). A few Saturdays ago we were out on a nice long group run. Long runs are tough to start and stop once you have hit 15+ miles. With every stop the muscles in the legs begin to lock up. It is easier to keep moving forward. We were in downtown Louisville running along 3rd street. As we approached a walk sign, meaning it is “safe,” to cross the street a car came barreling down the intersecting street. Cathy was the first of us to begin crossing, as soon as her right foot hit the pavement the car almost hit her. The vehicle did not let off the accelerator no even look to the left, she just keep driving. As Sarah and I watched our legs went numb (once again flight or fight response) and we thought we would be making a dash for the ER with Cathy’s body. The woman driving the car had to of seen Cathy in her neon yellow running gear, she did not care to slow down (she was obviously in a hurry to get somewhere). Luckily Cathy is light on her feet and she was able to move quickly out of the way. We all yelled at the car and Cathy gave a nice hood slam as we continued on. We ran in silence for the next several miles. I have always been scared to run trails because of animals (coyotes, snakes, etc) but now my biggest fear is individuals driving cars. Cars are a runner’s worse enemy.
My favorites are the people who use the park as a “short cut.” Meaning they drive like a bat out of hell to get from point A to point B. HELLO PEOPLE IT’S A PARK! Parks are for active individuals who utilize it for leisure purposes (not a place to avoid traffic and drive as fast as you can). The park is one of the most dangerous places to run. Last week we were out for our Wednesday night run. We typically run from Cherokee to Seneca and back (meaning the entire run is in the park). On our way back into Cherokee we hit the intersection Beargrass and Park Boundary Road. We were making a right onto Beargrass as a car (a man driving, a woman in the passenger seat and a child in the back seat) came flying through the stop sign. I could not help myself but to yelled, “There is a stop sign for a reason!” The man driving hit his breaks so quickly he squalled his tires and the bodies in the car jerk back and forth. I was thankful to have my husband on our run because I thought the man was going to come after me (thank God I could out run him). I got his plates (got figure he was an IN driver with the plates 13332). I tried to report him but without physical evidence there was nothing the police could do. I have decided to start running with a video camera! I will take matters into my own hands! Just me, my running shoes, and a camera (kidding but not really)!
Since I started running outside it has made me a more aware driver. I have had many close calls and I do not want my life impacted because a person is in a hurry to get to the mall, coffee shop, meeting, church, etc. I write this in hopes for all of us to become aware of sharing the road. Runners are growing in numbers and more of us are leaving the treadmills and taking to the road. Please stop at stop signs and traffic lights, look both ways and drive the speed limit in the parks. Please pass this along to your teenagers who are learning to drive. Runners/bikers do not stand a chance against a car, SUV, or truck. I beg of you, SHARE THE ROAD!