Who owns the roads anyway?

It’s bigger than the issue of who has the right to be on our public roads. I pay my taxes just like everyone else. It’s not just that drivers don’t think about runners and don’t see us until the last minute. And it has nothing to do with things we can’t control, like a distracted driver. What bothers me is the disdain that I see on the face of drivers who will stare me right in the eye and not budge one inch to let me share the road under these adverse weather conditions. I have purposely run on less traveled roads that have plenty of space and yet, there are always a couple of drivers who stare directly at me as they hold  their course in the same lane I am in, while  the lane next to them sits empty.

That’s what makes me wonder what has caused this intense hatred of runners. Are these people just inherently miserable with everything and everyone? Do they go home and kick their neighbors dog? Do they hate everyone? This is incomprehensible! How can anyone be filled with so much anger and how does that affect our society as a whole? For me, it leaves me feeling, well, hated. That’s a horrible way to feel. I want to try to reason with the person and explain why I exercise and  tell them that perhaps if they incorporated an exercise program into their life, they would not feel so much stress and misdirect their anger at people they drive past.

The bottom line is that they put our lives at danger and here I thought in America, we had each other’s backs. I thought that we, the  people, came together in times when we really needed each other and we never really intended any harm to each other. Well, aggressive driver, you won’t make a non-believer of me. I don’t know what is going on in your life. Maybe you just received some really bad news and it has nothing to do with me. Maybe you just don’t have good vision and you scowl a lot.

All I can do is run, make space for everyone on the roads I choose, and smile and wave to let people know I appreciate it when they don’t run me off the road!


About judithisbell

Judith is a physical fitness professional offering advice and anecdotes about healthy lifestyles.
This entry was posted in Richmond, Running category, rva, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Who owns the roads anyway?

  1. judithisbell says:

    Sad to see in the Letters to the Editor in this morning’s Richmond Times Dispatch, a letter entitled “Runners should stick to the parks”. Here is an excerpt:
    “A few years ago I was driving in the West End and just as I was going into a curve, two runners suddenly appeared and I had to swerve to avoid hitting them. They were on the road, in the curve, putting their lives in the hands of a person driving a 3,000-pound vehicle. I was so upset that I called the police and told them what nearly happened. They told me that they could not do anything because the road was a public road.”
    All runners are not perfect. Absolutely NOT. But, what did the writer want the police to do? Completely missed the point that we are supposed to share the public roads, so slow down and be cautious. Instead, the writer goes on to say, ” you better turn your heads, stop at all intersections and go to the park”. “You better” just doesn’t sound like a phrase of concern…

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