Get involved. Help make 3V more walkable.
Attend the upcoming 3V Community Visioning Meetings:
Setauket Vision, Sat Feb 25, 10 am - 1 pm
Held at: Stony Brook School, 1 Chapman Pkwy Stony Brook, Kanas Commons
And Saturday, Mar 4, 2017 (2 - 4:30 PM) - All hamlets wrap up
Can they see you?
When walking, we share the road with motor vehicles, bicycles, and other walkers. We usually take for granted that we can walk without incident. But accidents can and do occur. To keep yourself and others safe, it's important to follow the rules of the road. It's mind-boggling that many of the main Three Village Roads are without basic infrastructure like a sidewalk in this day and age. It's even more stunning when you stop to remember that there are schools nearby.
Walk Facing Traffic
If there is no sidewalk and you must walk on the side of the road, choose the side where you are facing oncoming traffic. In North America, this is the left side of the road. This gives you the best chance to see traffic approaching closest to you and take evasive action when needed.
Look both ways before crossing any street. At controlled intersections, it is wise to cross only when you have the pedestrian crossing light, but even then, drivers and bikers may have a green light to turn and won't be expecting you to be in the crosswalk. Make eye contact with any drivers who may be turning. Give them a wave. Make sure they see you. Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks. Always walk when crossing the street – never run! You could trip and fall when running.
Walk Single File
Unless you are on a sidewalk separated from the road or a wide bike lane, you should walk in single file. This is especially important on a road with lots curves, where traffic has only a split second chance of seeing you before hitting you. While it can be enjoyable to walk down the road two to three abreast chatting merrily, drivers don't expect it and you may lose your best walking buddies.
Stay Aware of Bikes and Runners
Share the road and path with bikes and runners. Bike riders should alert you when approaching from behind with a bike bell or a "passing on the left/right." Listen for them, and move to walk single file, allowing them to pass safely. Runners should also call out for passing. Bike-walker collisions can result in broken bones or head injury for either — and you aren't wearing a helmet.
Wear bright colors when walking in daytime. When walking at night, wear light-colored clothing and reflective clothing or a reflective vest to be visible. Drivers are often not expecting walkers to be out after dark, and you need to give them every chance to see you, even at street crossings that have crossing signals. Be just as cautious at dawn or twilight, as drivers still have limited visibility or may even have the setting or rising sun directly in their eyes.
Wear reflective gear to be seen at night
Don’t wear dark colors, drivers may not recognize you as a human. Your walking clothes should have reflective stripes on the front, back, and down the sides. Many packs and shoes have reflective patches or stripes. Wearing a reflective safety vest is a very good choice to ensure you'll be seen when walking at night.
Even if you are walking in an area with streetlights, you may encounter some dark patches. A lightweight flashlight can come in handy. Or, you can wear a headlamp to keep your hands free and not stress your wrists. Look for a model that allows you to adjust the angle of the beam so it will focus where you need it.
Make a practice of staying on one side of the path while walking rather than weaving randomly from side to side.
Keep the Volume Down
Don't drown out your environment with your headphones. Keep the volume at a level where you can still hear bike bells and warnings from other walkers and runners.
Stop texting and chatting
Chatting or texting on a mobile device while you walk is as dangerous as doing those things while driving. You are distracted and not as aware of your environment. You are less likely to recognize traffic danger, passing joggers and bikers or tripping hazards. Potential criminals see you as a distracted easy target.
Walk Dogs on Short Leashes
Don't trip up other walkers or bikers with poor control of your pet. Keep your pet and yourself safe by learning proper leash walking.
By Cyndi Keane