Pedestrian Etiquette

Is it just me, or do other runners find that pedestrians just refuse to get out your way when you are running towards them?

My natural reaction is to move out of the way of a speeding on-coming object. But it seems I'm the only one who thinks this! It gets especially dangerous when people are walking with their open umbrellas taking up the whole pavement too.

Are runners resented as a social group by non-runners?



  • maybe you're the only one that thinks you're a speeding on-coming object ;-)

    trying to think of a sensible reply but life's too short, just go round them.
  • erm yu are running on a footpath, you have to give way to poor little pedestrians you bully

  • I pay my council tax too. I should have equal rights on the pavement! It's not like I'm sprinting down the road with my arms flailing. But it would be nice once in a while if people gave me a bit more room once in a while rather than walking down the middle and forcing me onto the kerb or into a hanging tree branch...
  • just see it as cross training, it's good for your technique :D
  • It's safer for you if the walker holds their course. You have more choices than they do.
  • look on the bright side - most of these cretins walk in the middle of the bike lane too..... They don't even move for a bike moving at speed
  • Thats it! I should get myself a bike bell and start ringing it as I approach :)
  • This is why I prefer running in the woods, the tracks are so wide this problem doesn't really come up.

    The pavements around where I live are quite narrow but I must admit most people are pretty good at moving aside. The worst place is along the seafront, even though it's quite wide I've had to step in the road before now.

    Pedestrians also wind me up when I'm cycling, I don't use cycle paths much now but when I used to there was always some moron toddling along in the middle of it.

    I much prefered it when I lived in Germany, walk in a cycle lane there and you really take your life in your hands. One of the best things out there though was the rule that cars turning into a side road had to give way to pedestrians and cyclists. It's much safer.
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    It's up to runners to go round pedestrians really, and it's always best to cycle on the road if you want to get anywhere fast, cycle lanes are for kids learning to ride.
  • A runner is still a pedestrian, simply moving at a higher speed and therefore has as much right to the pavement as a walker!

    Even before I was a runner I would give way to a runner coming down the pavement, as it makes sence for him/her not to disrupt their stride pattern etc and just let them zoom past. If with a friend I go single file to let them past. Even before I started running it would not have occurred to me to force a runner into the road, and I don't know what's the matter with people who do.

    Now a runner myself I sense mixed reactions. Those that like myself would give way (and I always say thanks!), and those that give you attitude for some bizarre reason.
  • that doesn't always work Pops - sometimes the cycle lanes go in the opposite direction to the traffic on the road - we've got that in my high street and I'd have to go about 2 miles to get 50 yards if I didn't use the cycle lane
  • Dont really see why people should get out of your way ? They have as much right as you so why dont you move ? Thats like cars complaining that other traffic gets in their way ? If you have the energy to run surely you have the energy to run round them ? That said its annoying when kids walk in groups and block the path completely - thats just rude.
  • Chris.52Chris.52 ✭✭✭
    Some people expect other pedestrians to be moving, like them, at 1 1/2 mph and it takes their brains 30 secs to notice if something's moving faster and another 30 secs to decide what to do about it.
  • I disagree. By not making space on the pavement and forcing a runner into the road its endangering someones life for absolutely no reason. Stepping aside for two seconds is nothing incomparison to forcing a runner into raffic or into parked cars.
  • 40 minutes40 minutes ✭✭✭
    That's 2 sensible posts in a row on this thread! Go back to social where you can express yourself properly...
  • I suppose the chances of a pedestrian getting out of your way are 50/50. So why don't you try running round them the first time and then see what happens next time.

    There is no reason why a pedestrian should just move. They have as much right to be there as you have. It's as dangerous for them to be forced into the road as you.

    Some comments make it seem like pedestrians are resented by runners.

  • LOL 200...

    *tottles off causing havoc elsewhere*
  • I do resent pedestrians as 25% of them shout rude things at me when i am running and so on bad days (like today when i am in the middle of giving up smoking and am feeling v grumpy) i tar all of them with the same brush (pun intended).
  • Nobody is expecting a walking pedestrian to throw themselves into the road kamakazi style to give way to the running pedestrian. All they have to do is move over a bit, stand aside for 2 secs or walk single file for a moment if a couple for God's sake. Not much to ask for.

    When walking I always get out of the way for runnings and likewise the only pedestrians I would expect to have to run into the gutter for are peeps with prams and old folk.
  • Good god - how narrow are your pavements ? I cant see why any pedestrian should have to stand aside - thats pretty arrogant of you to expect them to ? You could stop running yourself ? Not much to ask for is it ?

  • I think Chris.52 has it about right. LOL

    Thing that gets me, usually when walking fast rather than running actually, is some plonkers who, when you swerve to go round them, put their arms out. No you twat, you don't need to catch me. I'm not falling over, I'm avoiding you. And making yourself wider does not help...
  • oooh lets not get started on pushchairs & prams ;-)
  • Side-by-side pushchairs plus toddlers attached!
  • Novelty roamer leads!
  • Out of my way peons!; I own the damn road!
  • I have noticed an interesting trend where i run.

    On the pavements i find that pedestrians rarely move out of my way.

    However, i often run on a towpath along a river where there are other runners and cyclists. I find that pedestrians/walkers here often go out of their way to give me room as i run past.

    Its almost like there is some kind of pecking order...
  • DLDL ✭✭✭
    I live in a student and tourist town - this consists of groups of youngsters taking over the enire pavement and moving for neither runner nor general pedestrian - many an elderly person can be found in the bushes having been jostled off the path. They are however usually good humoured, drunk or dressed in togas so it doesn't seem too threatening.

    We also have the 'lets just stop suddenly' brigade who want to either admire a particularly inspiring building (usually M&S) or look at a map. These are usually spotted by the heap of people at their feet who have all collided as they too were too busy looking at the map/skyline/hen party/school girls who have taken to wearing pelmets rather than skirts in the hot weather to notice the stopped couple infront of them.

    This being a posh town there are also the gangs of girly teenagers and gangly boys who amble down the pavements at a pace which is so slow scientists are investigating whether this inverse speed ratio can in fact cause black holes to randomly appear in the universe. With these groups you can run/walk/cyle or in fact just try to stand your ground. Because you are old (over 20) you have become completely invisible to them. They will not step out of your way, avert their course or even acknowledge the fact that they have shouldered their way past you and that your shopping is now rolling down the street as the two inch gap wasn't wide enough for you and your fragile carrier bag.

    The final group are the regular locals who on finding that for once they have the entire pavement to themselves aren't going to throw away the privelege quickly. As the town is full of mad runners and hosts a half marathon every year which gets increasingly large, causes roads to be shut, cars to be towed and generally makes life very incovenient for a whole weekend they are going to wreak their revenge. They valiantly stand their ground staring at you with a 'that's for the fact that I couldn't get the car out of the drive for 5 hours for your silly race' look in their eye.

    As a runner the only safe course of action is to step into the road prior to any pedestrian encounter. However it is aways good to bear in mind that the driver is very likely a hopelessly lost tourist who is either looking at a set of really complicated instructions on how to find their B&B in a language that isn't their own or arguing with the partner/children/ sat nav because they have been round this part of town in heavy traffic three times now and they are therefore not watching the road or you.

    Ah what a joy it is to live in a city and run - hence the reason I rise at 6 to get to the pavements before everyone else!
  • What about good manners and courtesy?

  • I don't see why walkers or runners should have superiority over the other. However, we do seem to be living in an age where manners are no longer important. Wherever possible I do try to make allowances for older people, people in wheelchairs and on crutches, basically those that are less able to get out of the way. But on the other hand I do resent having to move for a gang of teenagers that have sprawled across the pavement and think that everyone should move for them.

    However, cycling on cycle lanes through Medway can be a mixed experience. Most people will get off of the cycle lane when you are hurtling towards them, but you still get the odd tattooed tit who thinks its a game of chicken and then gives you torrent of abuse when you point out he's on the cycle lane!
  • chrisg9chrisg9 ✭✭✭
    Following on from Dog’s post. I have my own unscientific theory which pertains to the time of day that you run.

    At the weekend I am up early(ish) and run between 6.30 – 8am. Most of the people I meet are dog walkers who are all friendly, say hello and make sure their dog is safe. However during the week, I run in the evening and encounter a much more surly bunch
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