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Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Downside of an Active Community

I have mentioned many times about how I think it is great that we have such an active community. I love that there are always people out and about and I love that it reinforces a healthy and active culture.

However, I think it may be time for a refresher on etiquette of a healthy lifestyle and its collision (pun intended) with the rules of the road. Perhaps these will resonate with you or you have a personal experience with some of these:
  1. Streets are for traffic or parking – I understand that asphalt is better on the knees than concrete sidewalks but please use the sidewalks or go grab a treadmill.
  2. Be aware of your surroundings – running with traffic while wearing your headphones is a recipe for disaster. You may want to hear horns or sirens so you can get out of the way of them.
  3. Visibility is key – Please wear reflective or light colored clothing. I admit that I like to get my workout in dur\\ing odd times which means early morning basketball / racquetball and even running if that is what I am into at the time. But if you are going to run at 5am or 11pm please wear clothes that allow others to see you.
  4. Be aware of intersections – since we are talking about visibility, try running behind cars that are ready to pull  of intersections instead of running in front of them and assuming that everyone can see you
I understand that it is the driver’s responsibility to watch out for pedestrians but when you are running in the street at 11pm in dark clothing with headphones blaring and expecting someone to see you who is pulling off a side street is akin to letting your drunk Uncle Bob from Eastern Kentucky try out his new bow and error by shooting an apple off your head.

My advise isn’t just for runners – I have a few pointers for those on bikes as well. Keep in mind that I have many
of these same conversations with many of my friends who are avid cyclists and many times we have to agree to disagree:
  1. All rules apply equally - A common complaint of cyclists is that drivers do not respect them as equals on the road. However, if you are on a bike and you want to be treated equally then obey the same traffic signs and signals that drivers obey.
  2.  I know it is a lost art but there are actually hand signals that can used in luau of actual electronic turn signals and lights. This isn’t just directed at bikers but also younger drivers who are unaware that such signals exist. I have included a short video below as a refresher….


  1. I appreciate this post, and am even more appreciative that the post reflects an active lifestyle within our community.

    The first video is a parody on Portland, one of the healthiest and most thriving cities in America. Fort Thomas has incredible potential to tap deeper into a thriving, healthy, active neighborhood.

    I hope by the time my kids can cycle (without the training wheels), our town will have gone deeper into promoting and accommodating active, city-based living.

    **now all we need are more chickens : )

  2. I agree with above, one of the secrets of successful communities is promoting active lifestyles like cycling and running. Healthier residents have been shown to have a greater economic benefit to cities and surrounding businesses. That being said the speed limit on Grand Ave should be 25 instead of 35 mph. It's a residential street just the same as any other in Fort Thomas. Tough for people to Bike safely when cars are buzzing by you on the turns at 40 mph.

  3. Grand Ave is a state route. No need to change the limit.

  4. N Fort Thomas and S Fort Thomas are also considered state route(s) 1120, so with your logic should we also raise the speed limit from 25 to 35 mph? N Fort Thomas is also two lanes as well.
    I'm willing to bet that most residents on Grand would like to see the speed limit reduced. It's no different any other residential st in the city, in fact Grand Ave probably has more bikers and runners/walkers than a lot of other streets.

  5. With it being a state route, the state controls the speed limits, and uses objective parameters to set them.

    I'm certain that the residents on Grand would like to see lower speed limits. However, it is a major throughfare through the city, and has been for quite some time. It has sidewalks for walkers, and if bikers wish to avoid it, it is easily done via Highland and Ft Thomas Avenues.