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NorthEnder

Sharing the road

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I've been running for a little over a year now, and I think i've made some estute generalizations....

Cars do not like to share the roads with pedestrians.

Worst areas (people absolutely will NOT move over, no matter what, traffic or no traffic on-coming):

Jenison/Hudsonville/Jamestown - terrible terrible terrible. If you run/bike in that area, do so at your own risk. I don't know if it's the "hick - i've got a big truck" mentality or what, but it's brutal there.

Nicest areas:

EGR/FH/Walker - people are very willing to move over, and share the road. Running is much more relaxing and stress free in these areas.

Veloise, you bike a lot... any observations?

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EGR is nirvana for bikers.

The Uptown area is a total disaster except for small areas of East Hills and Lake Drive.

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Just as bad for cyclists. I enjoy running on the road too since the ashpalt is easier on the shins and feet. I try to wear my bright orange Adidas vest.

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I've been running for a little over a year now, and I think i've made some astute generalizations....

Cars do not like to share the roads with pedestrians.

Worst areas (people absolutely will NOT move over, no matter what, traffic or no traffic on-coming):

Jenison/Hudsonville/Jamestown - terrible terrible terrible. If you run/bike in that area, do so at your own risk. I don't know if it's the "hick - i've got a big truck" mentality or what, but it's brutal there.

Nicest areas:

EGR/FH/Walker - people are very willing to move over, and share the road. Running is much more relaxing and stress free in these areas.

Veloise, you bike a lot... any observations?

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Are you wanting recommended routes, or "how not to get killed" hints from Veloise?

I don't run (bad knees) but if I did...

Neighborhood streets rather than arterials. (Fountain yes, Fulton or Michigan no. )

Wider multi-lane streets good, two-lane country roads bad.

Run facing traffic.

We're already earned about 30 more minutes of daylight since the solstice; daylight is your friend.

No I-pods (or only one ear bud; see recent obits)

Christmas tree conspicuity: bright neon colors, blinkie lights, reflective shoes and arm bands. Much of this stuff is available in various departments from Fred. Hunting items are on clearance; I own a couple pair of neon orange fleece gloves. (Think "black box" and what will contrast with the background.)

The first year I was an urban bike commuter, folks got used to seeing me, and on the first warm day that encouraged open car windows, several motorists commented that I had been out there all winter. Yup. If you can establish a route and time, you'll encounter the same drivers every day, and they won't be surprised.

Wave at them. (I wave at the cops, the mayor, fire truckers, school bus drivers, motorists who may not see me, motorists who may not accurately judge my speed...)

Make eye contact with vehicle operators. (They aren't cars, they are drivers of cars.) Wearing something indicating your interest in fund-raising for a Good Cause might help make friends.

Traffic signals are there for a reason. If you stop for a red light and go on a green one, you don't have to fret over what might not be coming. (Motorists here do not run pink lights as much as in the Detroit area.)

And you might enjoy running on the rail trails. Riverside Park is delightful. White Pine is boring from North Park Drive to the bend just before the ball park, then it gets interesting. Kent Trails is fairly remote.

NB: I am only a certified instructor of Effective Cycling who's been practicing traffic-safe cycling for a few decades. These techniques have worked for me, so far. Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited. Consult your physician. Etc.

HTH

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Just because you are highly visible doesn't mean other people aren't oblivious. :)

I agree about keeping off the arterial roads. When I ride downtown I take Fountain most of the way rather than Fulton and I go against traffic. It's probably illegal to go the wrong way down a one-way street, even on a bike, but I'd rather see the cars coming since there isn't a shoulder or dedicated bike lane. I'm more concerned about staying alive than breaking the law.

I do see some commuters on bikes when I drive on Fulton and I think they're crazy. Right around Eastern Ave the road is pretty narrow with the bulb-outs and whatnot and it makes going around bikers impossible if there's any oncoming traffic.

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I once had an irritating boss who used to jog at lunch time in the street usually along Ottawa or Monroe just north of downtown. Whenever I

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Traffic signals are there for a reason. If you stop for a red light and go on a green one, you don't have to fret over what might not be coming.

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My pet peeve! If bikers have as much "right" to the road as an automobile (which they do), then they have to follow the same rules. This means waiting your turn at a 4-way stop (not zipping down the shoulder and then darting across), and not running a red light just because there is no traffic. Those are the bikers I'd like to swerve at (not that I ever have, but man is it tempting).

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I once had an irritating boss who used to jog at lunch time in the street usually along Ottawa or Monroe just north of downtown. Whenever I

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Just because you are highly visible doesn't mean other people aren't oblivious. :)

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Yes, it is illegal to ride the wrong way.

Imagine yourself driving on, say, Grand, and you want to turn onto Fountain (to travel in the indicated direction, east). As a motorist, you'd check for traffic coming from DT.

Are you going to check for wrong-way cyclists coming from the east? You are not.

Bicycling on the wrong side of the road is especially dangerous when there are many driveways (residential or commercial), each creating its own intersection. I often see a cyclist pedaling west on the south shoulder of Fulton near Baltimore and Maryland. Yikes!

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That is a good point about all the intersections driveways create. I guess I'm more comfortable if I have to keep a lookout for those cars, however, than to trust that cars behind me will see me.

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That is a good point about all the intersections driveways create. I guess I'm more comfortable if I have to keep a lookout for those cars, however, than to trust that cars behind me will see me.

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Wilson Ave. from Three Mile to the I-196 Interchange is not for the faint of heart when it comes to being pedestrian friendly. Every type of automotive madness screams up and down that road at 60 to 70 mph. Mind you most of this stretch of Wilson is two lanes and no side walks. So peds have no choice but to walk or bike on the shoulders. (Like I'm nuts enough to do that.). Then their is the 1000 mile wide Wilson/ Lake Michigan Dr. intersection. There are traffic accidents happening there all the time. Now if its that dangerous for autos, think how foreboding it is for the poor peds having to cross it. Between Lake Michigan and Leonard, the city put in a side walk on the east side of the road. That's great except that there are quite a few people, myself included that live on the west side of the road. I'm not going to jay walk Wilson and risk being turn into street pizza by a Peter Built barreling down the road at warp 6 just to use the sidewalk. North of Leonard goes back to no side walks and hurricane force traffic as usual. So if you don't like pedestrian friendly roads come to my neighborhood. I've got just the road for you. :thumbsup:

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Wilson Ave. from Three Mile to the I-196 Interchange is not for the faint of heart ... 60 to 70 mph. ...two lanes and no side walks. ...1000 mile wide Wilson/ Lake Michigan Dr. intersection. There are traffic accidents happening there all the time. ...Between Lake Michigan and Leonard, the city put in a side walk on the east side of the road. ... North of Leonard goes back to no side walks and hurricane force traffic as usual. So if you don't like pedestrian friendly roads come to my neighborhood. I've got just the road for you. :thumbsup:

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Wilson Ave. from Three Mile to the I-196 Interchange is not for the faint of heart when it comes to being pedestrian friendly. Every type of automotive madness screams up and down that road at 60 to 70 mph. Mind you most of this stretch of Wilson is two lanes and no side walks. So peds have no choice but to walk or bike on the shoulders. (Like I'm nuts enough to do that.). Then their is the 1000 mile wide Wilson/ Lake Michigan Dr. intersection. There are traffic accidents happening there all the time. Now if its that dangerous for autos, think how foreboding it is for the poor peds having to cross it. Between Lake Michigan and Leonard, the city put in a side walk on the east side of the road. That's great except that there are quite a few people, myself included that live on the west side of the road. I'm not going to jay walk Wilson and risk being turn into street pizza by a Peter Built barreling down the road at warp 6 just to use the sidewalk. North of Leonard goes back to no side walks and hurricane force traffic as usual. So if you don't like pedestrian friendly roads come to my neighborhood. I've got just the road for you. :thumbsup:

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