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Pedestrians should stay off streets, too

As the snow piles up and the daylight fades, it's pretty obvious that people shouldn't be driving. What may be less apparent is that it's difficult, and potentially dangerous, to be walking.

I discovered that during a walk around noontime, and visibility is much poorer now. It took only a few minutes for ice to form on my glasses. Many of you are not so burdened, but you would find that it's difficult to see cars approaching.

Not only that, it's difficult just to see the sidewalk. Many times I had no idea whether I was in the street or on the sidewalk. In the neighborhoods, the few people out are walking in the middle of the streets because they have to. Few people have been ambitious enough to shovel the sidewalks, knowing they'll just have to do it again later. Those walkers should stay wary of approaching cars, especially if the walkers' ears are covered by hoods.

On main roads, where people are trying to stay on the sidewalks to avoid what traffic there is, it's difficult to maintain your balance in snow piles that are now quite high. Also, you have less time to react to the errant movements of an approaching car than you would under normal weather conditions.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 19, 2009; 4:20 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, snow, travel tips  
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What if there's no sidewalks at all? Where am I supposed to walk? And I have no choice but to walk, since Ride On has decided to stop running buses...

Posted by: pikamander007 | December 19, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

No sidewalks? When I lived in Denton, Texas people took sidewalks as a sign of a lower class neighborhood. "Who would walk?" they would ask me when I asked about a sidewalk.

Of course runners can not tolerate a side walk in many cases. They got to run in the road. "Cement is too hard," they whine. If you ask they say there are too many cracks or tree roots.


Posted by: gary4books | December 19, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

"What may be less apparent is that it's difficult, and potentially dangerous, to be walking."

Gee, how helpful. And you even told us we cannot discern the sidewalk vs. the street!

Gee, what would we do without your keen guidance. And, what on earth did people do in the old days, when they didn't have clever journalists posting this type of advice?

thanks alot for letting us know that snowstorms offer challenges and elements of danger. Keep up the good work and put in for a raise.

Posted by: jackson641 | December 19, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

also, those metal grates in the sidewalks are very slippery and difficult to see...

Posted by: bmp246 | December 19, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

- not sure what the answer is, since in my hood, the road-snow get plowed onto the sidewalks, making them impassable far longer than the roads.

and throwing snowballs at public servants, the police, as seen on wjla, is dispicable.

Posted by: Max231 | December 19, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Come on cash rich Comcast, make that +Channel HD!

Good move BB, on the goalie decision tonight. Also, put some fire and urgency in that PP unit!

Posted by: Max231 | December 19, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

ignore previous post, meant for another blog.
-been a long day.

Posted by: Max231 | December 19, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

We just walked from downtown DC to Pentagon City and back. We are experienced in the outdoors. We were prepared with good boots, synthetic layers, and lights/headlamps for visibility - but we were just fine! In fact, I would encourage that everyone take time to walk around in the snow tomorrow! Get out and play! Just make sure you're prepared!

Posted by: eguertin | December 19, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Everything is slippery. Everyone is spinning out.
A little girl I passed asked her mom if the snow would still be here in the morning :)

Thanks for the admonishments, Dr. G. I was one who began the day walking in the middle of the street, only to have a bus suddenly at my shoulder.

Posted by: april3 | December 19, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

People are being really nice to each other, and everything looks like a postcard.

Posted by: april3 | December 19, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

People weren't just walking in the street in neighborhoods but using highways like 110 near the Pentagon to take a short cut home. Please use common sense people!!!

Posted by: sg7472a | December 20, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

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