Monday, July 31, 2017

Road signs...are runners exempt?



Road signs.

We see them everywhere, directing us through traffic and telling us what to do. Often times, the signs are there for our own safety and protection. Aren't we expected to respect them, even if there is no clear and present danger?




This thought came to me recently on one of my early morning walks, sort of like a breakthrough, if you will.There are oodles (and oodles) of construction sites and street repairs happening in my town right now. Not only are all the usual street signs there in broad daylight, but also numerous "temporary" signs as well....closing off favorite passages and detouring us elsewhere.

As a runner, I encounter street signs all the time. For the most part, I'm a goody-two-shoes type...I follow the rules and obey the protocol. However, if  I'm out and about on foot, I am sometimes tempted to do things my way and at my convenience....Which begs the question:

Do most runners think they're exempt from obeying the signs?

What about the proverbial Stop sign? How many runners actually stop at a stop sign if nothing else is coming at them? I would venture to guess a big, whopping ZERO.


Have you ever come up on a Sidewalk Closed sign? Did you turn around and head back home...or did you look both ways, and proceed to navigate your way across the rough and rocky terrain until you made it across to the other side? (don't bother answering)


I think most of us tend to ignore No Parking signs,simply by default...we're usually on foot and don't need to park anything. Personally, I appreciate a road without any on-street parking.


Have any of you ever tried to outrun an approaching train? The sign says Yield, but if the train is still well off in the distance, I have been known to speed across the tracks to avoid a several-minute halt to my run. You?


How about crossing within the actual Crosswalk? Technically, if you're within the crosswalk, all vehicles are supposed to yield to you. But, seriously, how many runners actually use the crosswalk when there's ample room to go around all the walkers who are already there?


What if a No Parking sign is uprooted and lying flat? Does that make everyone exempt? Or should none of us be there in the first place?



Sure, it says Road Closed to Thru Traffic, but does that include people on foot or just those in vehicles? If there's plenty of clearance "alongside" the road, technically you're not actually "on" the road, correct?

What about you, what are your thoughts on this? When on foot, do you obey traffic signs, even if there's no one present to take notice of your actions?  Can you name one sign (or several) that you purposely ignore?



**I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run... Join the party!

...and with Deb for the Wednesday Word (consequently, this month's word is breakthrough)

...and with Susie and Debbie and Rachel and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner.

51 comments:

  1. Ha! I never really thought about it, but I definitely do not obey road signs when I'm running. I know I've run the wrong way on a one way :)

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  2. The things we think about when we are running!

    I have been known to ignore those signs when I'm running, but I always check to make sure everything is safe. I've gotten burned a few times when the road was actually out!

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    1. oh yes....safety first! But I figure if there's no vehicle in my vicinity, I can have a little more "latitude" with what I do...

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  3. Great post! I've never really thought about road signs when walking/running, lol. I for sure do not obey them at all!

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  4. Food for thought lol is that a saying??
    The only sign I really obey is private road, I won't go past those. I have two roads I run down I eventually see the private from this point sign so I turn around.
    The only other time I obey signs is when I urban run with my run buddy. She lives in the city now, we have to stop at lights. It feels odd sometimes.

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    1. I didn't think of mentioning traffic lights...those I DO obey because there's usually a lot of traffic and potential danger

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  5. Mostly I don't have traffic signs where I run but there has been a "path closed" sign due to flooding recently. Both times it was there I decided to run until I saw why the path was closed ie where/how bad the flooding was. Once it was dried up and I could proceed, the other time there was water rushing over the path so I turned back.
    I'd never cross tracks in front of a train. Too many pedestrian accidents around here.

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    1. I only cross the train tracks when the train is off in the distance...they do have to slow down a bit when going through town. I'd never try to jump in front of a speeding train...I'm not that much of a dare devil LOL

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  6. Ha, I've never really thought about it but I just assume most traffic signs only apply to vehicular traffic :) I do tend to pay attention to the sidewalk closed signs though.

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    1. It's crazy how most of us tend to ignore the signs when we're on foot but are obedient when driving

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  7. I try to use crosswalks when I'm out of my neighborhood, but I cross roads outside the crosswalks in the neighborhood. I look both ways and just cross when it's clear. If a road or sidewalk is closed, I pay attention to that. Just my luck to fall and hurt myself in a closed off area.

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    1. Typically, I use most crosswalks, too...unless there is no immediate traffic

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  8. I do try to obey, but I've been known to jayrun at times, too. And I definitely wouldn't stop at a stop sign if there were no cars around! However, if there was a sidewalk closed sign, I'd obey that (no point in turning an ankle!).

    Interesting post, Kim!

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  9. This is a great post!!

    I think the only sign I obey while running/biking is the stop sign. Otherwise, if I can fit /squeeze through. ....I am going...lol.

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    1. agreed ;-) It's hard to stop when you're on foot and there's NO cars around, right?

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  10. This is a great post! I usually run on trails so no street signs there, but occasionally there might be a stop sign if it is crossing a road. I am curious to find if those road closure signs apply to people on foot? I wouldn't even give a thought to a parking sign since it has nothing to do with running or walking.

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    1. I have always wondered if the signs apply to people on foot as well (or just motor vehicles). I'm assuming the signs apply to everyone on the road...

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  11. Hah. If I can see through the construction I might ignore that sign, but I've done that and realized I should have listened! I am pretty bad at stopping for traffic lights, let alone stop signs, but I will stop at a busy intersection even if I have to right of way to make sure cars see me.

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    1. I agree...I always stop (or pause) if I see cars...I have learned to never assume they see me

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  12. I don't think i would ever go through a train crossing sign but I am guilty of going through stop signs while running and sometimes biking. I kind of do a rolling stop which I know is not safe.

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    1. Stop signs are tough to honor when there's no one else around...

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  13. When I am running and cycling I still follow the sign rules. I usually just run on the road if the sidewalks are closed which seem to be what I run into.

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    1. I try to stay on the road as much as possible because the sidewalks tend to be narrow and very uneven

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  14. I think this about bikers all the time...but yes I'm so guilty as a runner of going places that sometimes are marked as no no's

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    1. I see a lot of bikers who never stop at stop signs, even when there are other vehicles present

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  15. What a fun read... and a thought-provoking post. I do pay attention to closed sidewalk signs but not most of the others.

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    1. The closed sidewalk signs are easy to overlook if there's a street nearby ;-)

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  16. I've never really thought about it. The paths I run on don't have road signs... but I do ignore the stop signs in my neighborhood.

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    1. Stop signs seem irrelevant if there's no traffic LOL

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  17. LOL! I never even thought about this! I am a pretty bad jaywalker, but other than that, I am a rule follower :)

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    1. I usually am a rule follower, too...but sometimes there's not much need to obey every sign if there's no immediate danger

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  18. Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs. Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind.

    Oh, sorry, my mind went on a tangent. I usually only notice signs to make sure that the cars coming toward me are obeying them.

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    1. I've had that song on my mind ever since I got the idea for this post LOL

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  19. I try not to get killed. And usually, the signs are there to help with that!

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  20. I've encountered a few signs that I've ignored. There was a large stretch of a local park system that was closed to vehicular traffic due to an eroding bridge. I'm not sure if pedestrians counted, but we ran on the path all the time anyway. Thankfully it's since been fixed. There's no more gaping hole from the bridge to the highway below!

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    1. Didn't we see a Private Drive sign along the Grandma's route? ;-)

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  21. This was so interesting to read because I haven't really thought about this before. I wouldn't go into a construction zone but never think twice about running through a stop sign!

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    1. I don't typically go into constructions zones (usually there's fences), but I don't necessarily avoid closed roads....

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  22. I think I pretty much obey all road signs. :-)

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    1. I obey the signs when there's vehicles present and potential danger

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  23. HA great post! I tend to be a breaker of the rules.....I have even crossed so signs that say it is a felony to do so....but they were blocking my path......

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    1. Yes, I agree...we don't need signs blocking our path LOL

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  24. I think I may be a sign follower......well if it is convenient :-)

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    1. Ha ha....same here....if there's clear and present danger ;-)

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  25. I do my best to follow the signs when I'm out running, unless the road is completely clear and there aren't any cars around.

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  26. It depends on the time of day... I'm more likely to be a little loose with obeying the rules at 6 AM on a Saturday when there's no traffic. When traffic is heavy, I respect the signs because I don't want to be the next statistic.

    Thanks for linking up!

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