I want to live in a world where pedestrians are kings again.
I want to live in a world where the streets aren’t just designed for cars.
I want safe, well-lit infrastructure for everyone on foot, wherever they’re going.
I want drivers who are kind and recognize that no amount of hurry is worth risking a person’s life.
But I live in Louisville, KY which was the 4th worst American city for pedestrians last time I checked. I know the city is working on improvements but I think any significant change is years away.
That means we have to talk about basic pedestrian safety. I don’t want to talk about it because we shouldn’t have to talk about it.
But that’s the reality of the world we live in, so here are the basics:
Walk/Run facing traffic
If there isn’t a sidewalk or dedicated path, walk facing traffic. It’s the best way to see what’s coming at you so you can evade if necessary.
This is a pet-peeve of mine because I see people breaking it all the time, especially runners. It messes things up for everyone if you have some people running in the correct direction and others going the wrong way.
If you’re going out when it’s dark and you have to be in the street, wear high-visibility clothing and blinking lights. I’ve had so many close calls biking in the morning because of someone wearing all black clothing. And that’s with me wearing a giant headlamp.
Most of the time, people dressed in dark clothing are also walking with their back’s facing me so they don’t see me coming either.
It happened just this morning. The only reason I saw these two people at all was because their dog turned around when he heard me coming. I got a little flash from my headlamp off the dog’s eyes.
That’s pretty much it. It’s not very complicated.
Simple rules to stay safe until our utopia arrives.