I recently started running again. I live in a subdivision which opens into a residential area, the sort with sidewalks and barking dogs and cars parked on either side of the street. Traffic varies according to time of day, but it’s usually pretty quiet.
I started out running on the sidewalks, but I injured my ankle (I already have chronic knee pain.) The concrete is not very well maintained, with the slabs sometimes differing by as much as 4’’ in elevation, and the blocks are short, so I’m having to jump curbs constantly. I recently tried running on the street most of the time (against traffic, well to the side of the road), and it seemed to be better on my knees and ankles. Neither way is exactly ideal, as I often have to run around the cars parked in the street and there are fallen branches and puddles in the road… but it’s marginally better.
I didn’t think anything of it until Sr. Olives remarked that he’s been running on the street and people have been honking at him.** He is a much more experienced runner and also less sensitive to offending others, so it doesn’t bother him. But now I’m worried that by running on the street, I’m somehow breaking some rule of etiquette.
I know ideally I’d be going to a park trail or something, but I don’t have enough time after work to drive to the nearest park before the sun sets. I have this tiny window of daylight and I either do it here or I don’t do it at all.
Anyway, bottom line: Is it rude to run on the street?
**Potentially pertinent information: I live in New Jersey, where inexplicable honking appears to be an unconscious and automatic behavior resulting from years of social conditioning.