Letter to the Editor: Drivers Need to Share the Road with Runners

A peninsula resident is concerned with vehicles driving too close, or in, the bike lane.


In light of the proposed state bill that would require vehicles to stay three feet from bike lanes, a Belmont resident shares her opinion about bike lane protocol. Tell us your thoughts on the issue in the comments below. 

Dear Editor,

I am a runner who prefers to run outside rather than on a treadmill and in some instances I am faced with the decision to run on the sidewalk or in the bike lane. About half the time I run on the sidewalk and the other half  the sidewalks are in too bad of shape to run on safely, or there are no available sidewalks and so I run in the bike lane. I wear reflective gear so I am visible to drivers but on more than one occasion I have been nearly struck by oblivious drivers. It is quite scary. I would also like to include drivers pulling out of parking lots or driveways. People exiting the Carlmont Shopping Center in Belmont are the worst offenders. This is where most of my nearly being struck incidents occur. All I ask is that people please look both ways before going over the sidewalk. On every run I usually have to jump off the sidewalk or slap someone's hood to have them pay attention and not hit me.

With the evening light hours diminishing and darkness coming earlier each night running after I get off work becomes more dangerous. I love running and living here has been a wonderful experience and I have never enjoyed running more than I do when I am running down the streets of Belmont. I just want drivers to share the road when we runners have no other option but to run in the street alongside your moving cars. 

Olivia De Mars



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Harry E. Smith August 22, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Olivia, I hope your message gets out there to this 'me-first' world we now live in where people are totally oblivious to any one around them. More driver training and education to currently licensed drivers needs to be done, but I don't see it having much impact with the selfishness of a great many drivers on the road who are so wrapped up in themselves and their agenda to care about any one else. I've had my share of close calls with backing drivers in the parking lot, or drivers who race out of parking lots/garages across the sidewalk and don't look first. If it takes another law to help keep pedestrians and bikers safe, then I'm for it since there are those dangerous ones that need that kind of reminder to behave. Still, your best defense to stay safe is to LOOK, LOOK & LOOK--and hope you're nimble enough to avoid the trouble you see.


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