There was a mild flap recently about joggers running in the bicycle lane. Runners in the bicycle lane! O the horror! As someone who both bicycles and (occasionally) runs I have an opinion on this and the name of my opinion is.... Really?
Really? We're complaining about the safety hazard posed by people running up the street??
I'll take questions now.
Q: Do you run in the bicycle lane?
A: No. I mostly destroyed my ITB by running on hard surfaces. I run on trails these days.
Q: Would you run in a bicycle lane if you had not wrecked your ITB?
A: No. Being run over by a bicyclist would be unpleasant. Not fatal (statistically speaking) but nevertheless unpleasant.
Q: As a bicyclist, do you care if people run in bicycle lanes?
A: Not really.
Wait, I don't care about runners in bicycle lanes? Someone who can spend an entire post complaining about people who are still surprised that I bicycle in the rain is not upset about a handful of shlumps staggering up the bicycle lane? Why do I not care? How can I not care.
I do not care because smart bicyclists (also bicyclists like myself who are of middling intelligence) keep their eye on the real danger out there and it turns out that the real danger for a bicyclist is not colliding with a runner. The real danger is being turned into a slab of red, grey and white paste by a city bus.
I care a little about turtles in the bicycle lane because I have to go around them. I care a little about kids who run into the bicycle lane after evading their parents because I have to swerve around them. I sometimes have to wend my way around people running and other times I have to wait until I can pass a slow bicyclist. All of that is just life as we know it as far as I'm concerned.
The day we wipe out the risk of being killed by cars is the day we can turn our complaining little hearts to the non-risks of the bicycling world: dogs on long leashes, kids biking erratically, and yeah, runners destroying their knees hips and ankles in the bicycle lane.
Until then, if you find yourself with the energy to whine about someone running in the bicycle lane, congratulate yourself and then dial 1-800-DALLAS where they do not even have bicycle lanes. Yet.