And no I don’t mean new electronic cigarettes that have become popular. What I’m talking about is pedestrians and cyclists using our city streets after dark. In the last 24 hours I have encountered three instances of pedestrians all who were walking or running on College.
The first was a group of runners that I met yesterday morning around 5 am while driving to work. This was before my morning Coke, so there was likely some sleep in my eyes, some frost on the windshield, and thoughts about the coming day. There were three runners, one who was wearing a white top that I think I recognized as a prominent member of the local running group. The white shirt likely helped avoided an accident, as I didn’t see them until I was less than 30 feet away.
The second encounter happened last night as a person decked out in black jeans and black hoodie had just crossed the bridge that spans Tucker Creek on College. Now it probably doesn’t help that I read a lot of Dean Koontz books that talk of spirits and paranormal activity, so at times my brain pauses to make sure the shadow that I just saw was real and not my imagination. I probably really saw this person when I was only 10 feet away, and by then they had headed off the street and on to the grass.
The third instance happened this morning as I was pulling out of our subdivision near the corner of College and Country Club and I could see a flashing red light on the edge of the road nearly a quarter mile away near Walgreens. As I drove closer, I could make out a runner going hard at it with his morning fitness routine.
Now, I respect all those who brave this cold weather to get in their morning and evening runs, and wish the city offered more in the way of sidewalks and multi-use paths so that the roads didn’t have to be used as heavily for this endeavor. I am also compassionate that most of us do not favor hi-vis yellow as our first choice of attire, but I can also attest that wearing a light while using the streets does make a difference.
(As side note, I know the city Planning Department is working on developing a “Sidewalk Master Plan” this year in an effort to become recognized as “Walk Friendly.” But if you have lived in Conway for some time you also recognize that we have a long way to go with infrastructure construction (more sidewalks, paths, and safe crossings) before this will happen. I am hopeful the City Council will recognize this and provide increased funding in the future to eliminate these deficiencies.)