Today's BWL column reviews the "rules of the road" while walking.
BikeWalkLee Column: News-Press, "Go Coastal" Section, Aug. 6, 2015
all the focus lately on how cyclists and motor vehicles ought to
interact, the pedestrians in the crowd should remember they have their
very own rules of the road — legal and otherwise.
As in many states, Florida has laws on books regarding how pedestrians ought to ped. In summary, they say:
• If there’s a sidewalk, you’re supposed to walk on it (assuming it’s passable/usable).
•If there’s no sidewalk, walk facing traffic on the left side of the road – OFF the road (assuming the shoulder is usable).
•If there’s a crosswalk, use it… motorists are required to STOP for you if you’re in it.
• If you use an unmarked crosswalk, which exist at virtually every intersection, motorists are required to YIELD to you.
•If you cross mid-block without a crosswalk, pedestrians are required to yield to motorized traffic.
general, motor vehicles and bicyclists are required to make every
attempt to avoid colliding with anyone or anything, regardless of
whether there’s an illegal action taking place or not. In reality,
that’s not always the case — so walk defensively and alertly.
Pedestrians also have intersection signals to remember if you come to a crosswalk with a control signal. They are:
•Steady “WALK” or a walking person symbol: OK to go
“Upraised hand” symbol: Don’t start crossing, but OK to finish if
you’re already under way. Some signals may give you a countdown as well.
•Steady “Upraised hand” symbol: Don’t enter the crosswalk and get moving if you haven’t made it to the other side.
•Walk at night? Be visible and watch your step — it’s harder to see things that you might trip on or fall into.
•Walk as a group? Either go single file or go into single file to let oncoming (or faster) traffic get by.
in busy areas? Pay attention… which means take your eyes off the screen
and don’t have the music turned up so loud you can’t hear what’s going
on around you.
•Walk in sketchy areas? Go with a group or — if you have one at hand — a dog.
in the heat? Of course you do, it’s Southwest Florida! Stay hydrated,
avoid the hottest parts of the day and dress appropriately.
closing, don’t let all these “rules” get in the way of your enjoyment of
a good walk. In fact, take heart in some new studies that suggest a
walk out in nature is a good thing for your brain.
indicated those who walked through a park were happier and more
attentive than walkers who spent the same amount of time trudging near
heavy traffic. Another indicated that walking in a more natural setting
encouraged the walkers not to dwell on the negative (brooding) and
quieted brain activity in an area tied to “morbid rumination” (gotta
love those scientific euphemisms).
Bottom line? Don’t worry, get
walking! Want to find out more? Ask for a free WalkWiseLee presentation
for your group by visiting bikewalklee.blogspot.com.
is a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for
complete streets in Lee County—streets that are designed, built,
operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users:
pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and
abilities. Information, statistics and background online at www.BikeWalkLee.org.
Ready to ride or run?
Run: Two 5Ks on the horizon… one in Cape Coral on Aug. 15 (Cape 5K at Jaycee Park, www.3dracinginc.com) and one in Naples on Aug. 22 (North Collier Regional Rampage, www.eliteevents.org).
Friday’s SWFL Critical Mass gathering is a bike ride and more… much
more! It kicks off with a picnic (in the Centennial Park pavilion) at
5:30 p.m., with the ride starting at 8 p.m. Bring your helmet, lights
and a dish to share — and make some new friends or greet some old ones.
While the Sept. 12-13 Galloway Captiva Tri is sold out, if you’re
willing to drive north a little there are two choices on the horizon: A
traditional tri — the Venice YMCA Triathlon (sprint) on Sept. 5 (www.swflymca.org/programs/venice-triathlon); and a more easy-going tri — the Life’s A Beach Triathlon on Lido Key on Sept. 12 (www.lifesabeachtriathlon.com).