Neighborhood walkers explain Tuesday’s results

Good decisions require good judgment  

Today’s run (street): 3.2 miles

Happy Veteran’s Day.  This is a holiday that actually means something and I always take the time to appreciate the men and women who have served our country. I’m disappointed that our country will soon be led by a man who has neither served nor sacrificed, but thinks it’s okay to insult Gold Star families and expresses disrespect for war heroes, “because they got captured.”

As I ran through my neighborhood this morning, I thought about Tuesday’s election result and the fact that close to half of American voters voluntarily chose a woman-hating racist over his far more qualified opponent. That had made no sense to me until I rounded a corner and saw two people walking abreast on the right side of the street.

It clearly didn’t occur to this pair that they had better, smarter and safer choices, such as the sidewalk. If they absolutely had to walk on the street, they had the option of staying on the left side where they could see oncoming cars rather than trust the drivers behind them. I’d never understood why people will make such clearly bad decisions until I saw the election results on Wednesday morning. I finally understand that many people just aren’t smart enough to anticipate the consequence of their actions.

Do I think people who voted in the president-elect are stupid? How about people who walk on the right side of the road and trust that distracted drivers aren’t going to run them down? That’s not for me to say. But I will suggest that both are examples of bad judgment, something usually correlated to low intelligence.

Hey runner, got a light?

Seriously?

Today’s run (street): 4.4 miles

I was about halfway through today’s run when I noticed a guy exiting a small neighborhood park, holding a cigarette. I saw him from about thirty feet away, walking towards the street. The man began crossing the road and I wondered if I’d need to run around him. As I got closer he asked, “Got a lighter?” I yelled back, “I run, why would I smoke?” I didn’t hear his response, but I’m sure it wasn’t a compliment regarding my active lifestyle.

There were lots of people out this morning, and almost everyone I encountered on today’s run made me question the intelligence of the average person. Shortly after my exchange with cigarette guy, I saw two women walking side by side on the right side of the road. My neighborhood has no thoroughfares, but a few roads (like this particular one) have steady traffic. I felt I should advise them on the danger of walking with your back to traffic. They acknowledged my point, but I saw them later on the run and they were still tempting fate on the wrong side of the road.

These women weren’t the only people I saw walking with traffic, but I decided to stop playing safety patrol after that. There was a couple walking on the right, who spaced themselves so wide that the man was positioned in the middle of a busy road. He was a big boy, and I just hoped his size would be noticeable to drivers who would brake, thinking he was a Fiat 500.

Between the careless walkers, cyclists without helmets and drivers that ignore stop signs as a matter of course, I’m often frustrated with neighborhood running. That’s why I love running Stillwell, Trailview and Bethpage. Except, of course, for those big hills.