Seattle’s Stuyvesant Park sidewalk is longer than it looks, is constantly turning and creates hazards for pedestrians – including the elderly and disabled. In response, this community organization began a wheelchair, footpath and curb preservation campaign.
What is a jogging lane? Nothing at all, is exactly what it means. A jog in a jogging lane is like a sprinkler in a fountain: water, at some level, saturates a portion of the park and raises the ground level enough that it is possible to walk across a part of the sidewalk. Parks departments across the country have designated jogging lanes, named in recognition of their purpose. Their use is not just decorative, either. The water made by a jogging lane, on a dry sidewalk, has the capacity to add substantial filtration to a city’s drinking water supply.
On the other hand, jogging lanes, designed with urban cycling in mind, have the potential to reduce traffic speeds. With proper planning and space to provide adequate width and safety for bicyclists, jogging lanes can benefit both road safety and cycling accessibility.
Jogging lanes must balance two crucial ideals. First, they must be small enough to limit the risk of vehicles entering, and secondly, they must be wide enough for an able-bodied person to safely complete the jogging lane distance. The restricted passage can contribute to unsafe behavior as joggers unwittingly run between parked cars and running paths. Crossing the street is easy when they are small, but hiking along a narrow portion of the park can be hazardous.
Of course, pedestrian-vehicle conflicts do not take place on a path. The solution is simply to have a dedicated sidewalk at the same distance.
The growing demand for city parks continues to increase the exposure of walking, running and bicycling corridors to vehicle crashes.