Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Safety better for joggers on roadways
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 25 Apr 2007, 1, p. 6

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Safety better for joggers on roadways

Dear editor, Over the past several months I have noticed a few letters complaining about joggers on our roads, saying we should stick to sidewalks or parks. A letter from Bianca Lewis specifically asked why joggers feel they must run in the street instead of on the sidewalk. As an both a professional engineer and a regular runner for 20+years, I feel I am qualified to give a answer. There are actually several reasons why the roads are the best place, not only for joggers but all cyclists, including youngsters, as well. The main reason is safety. This may seem counter-intuitive as there are cars on the road. The problem is the cars pulling off the side streets. You will find that most drivers, if they even stop at all, will only stop at the point where they can see if there are any cars coming. The point is that drivers can see the joggers when we run in the street-- they might not like sharing the road with us, but at least they can see us. The same goes for kids on bikes. The roads are also preferable over sidewalks for injury prevention due to camber and hardness. Sidewalks are cambered (slanted) at intersections and driveways. Running over many of these causes the leg on the lower side to underprontate and the leg on the upper side to overpronate. Basically this means a biomechanically sound runner will become unstable at every camber and over time will be at risk of developing knee and hip injuries. Hardness is also a concern for long distance runners. Roads are made of asphalt and sidewalks are made of concrete. Depending on the material used, the concrete will be between 2-10 times harder than the asphalt. Running on the harder surface puts the runner at a greater risk of stress fractures. Two letters over the past several months complained that when they came around a curve with cars parked in the street that they nearly ran in to some joggers. They should realize that the problem is not the joggers, but rather their driving speed and their ability to control their vehicle. It is the drivers who need to realize that they do not own the road and they need to operate their vehicle in a manner that is safe for everyone in the street. And remember that my fellow joggers and cyclists are also taxpayers, so it is our right to be in the streets. Lesley Grice, Georgetown

Grice, Lesley
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25 Apr 2007
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Grice, Lesley
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Safety better for joggers on roadways