Parker Schoales wrote about the problem encountered when a cyclist riding with traffic meets a runner going against traffic [“Joggers should behave like thoughtful cyclists,” Oct. 19]. I am both a cyclist and a runner so I see this issue from both sides of the road.
I was taught to always ride with traffic and to always walk or run against traffic. I think the logic is that the runner can see the traffic coming toward them and get off the road if necessary. This strategy doesn't work for cyclists because the closing speeds are too fast when drivers meet cyclists for either to meaningfully react in time.
Assuming that runners will continue to run against traffic, then I think the best way to handle the interaction is for the cyclist to behave like a thoughtful motorist. The cyclist shouldn't swerve into the road unless it's safe to do so, the same way a motorist should behave when overtaking a cyclist.
Neither a cyclist nor motorist should swerve onto a shoulder or off the road unless it's the only way to avoid an accident. When passing a runner, if it's not safe to move left into the lane, then the cyclist should slow and wait until it becomes safe, the same as a thoughtful motorist should be doing when passing a cyclist.
For this to work, we have to assume that everyone will behave thoughtfully, respectfully, and safely: motorist, cyclist, and runner. I believe we can all get along.
Nicole Thomas, Olney