When I would go running in London I figured I was taking my life in my hands. I don’t think pedestrians ever have the right of way there; even if the light were green, I was in the crosswalk, and was using a walker or a wheelchair, I’m pretty sure I’d be at fault if a car ran me over. Since I was a couple of miles from the nearest park when I lived there, on my short run days I’d run along the street, and knew I had to pay attention or risk permanent disability (although at least the hospital bill would be covered by NHS).
But now I’m in Seattle. I still pay attention and run with the knowledge that drivers may not be paying attention to pedestrians, but it’s Seattle. People don’t really honk unless they are actually preventing an accident. I feel that if someone were to walk into traffic and set up a lawn chair in the middle , cars would just drive around them, and possibly shake their head a bit.
This morning I went for a run. It was (and still is, actually) raining fairly hard, so I was being extra cautious. Plus, in the back of my mind is the fact that today is my last day of health insurance coverage under the horrible GHI, which costs me over $400/month. Starting at midnight I am covered by a new, better, health care company, and I’d rather not need to put in a claim with that wretched GHI if I can avoid it.
At an intersection near the end of my run (complete with signals and a crosswalk) I waited for it to turn green and then started running. A car turning left must have been focused on the oncoming traffic and trying to beat a car, because it turned into me. As in, I had to actually jump out of the way, and even then my arm still made contact with the side of the car, and it missed my foot by about an inch. The car kept going, although about ten feet away the driver slowed a bit for a second – I’m assuming the driver was checking the rear-view mirror to make sure I wasn’t lying in the street.
The silver lining? I was so pissed that I sprinted the last half mile of my run.