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The Jogger

The Jogger

There is a narrow, typically New England road nearby which I often use to get to the house I own a  rental property and where I keep my model train layout in the carriage house. I’m on it a lot. It was originally a wagon trail, so the properties come right down to the road—there are no sidewalks, no simple areas to stay out of the road. It’s “grandfathered” so it doesn’t require sidewalks, and the house properties come right to the road, usually with a small stone wall. And most of the traffic is doing at least 35 MPH in a 25 MPH zone.

So, of course, people elect to jog, walk their dogs, and push baby strollers along this road, because it is lovely with trees hanging over it and quite pleasant. Except for the traffic, which includes delivery trucks and gardeners’ trailers.

Yesterday, I encountered a man who looked to be 80 or more, jogging more slowly than we normally walk, huffing visibly, and looking down at his feet. Is it worth jogging to stay in shape if it brings about a heart attack? Or by a non-attentive driver? There is no margin for error on this road.

During the winter, I encountered in the morning darkness, a man in dark clothing, walking a black dog, with his back to oncoming traffic, and ear buds in his ears. I was worried for the dog.

And then I find a woman with a stroller, which she can’t keep steady on the grass and dirt alongside the roadway, talking on her phone.

I understand the suicide prevention barriers on bridges and the signs urging people to get counseling if they feel self-destructive. But I’d like to see signs along this road that say, “If you’re a pedestrian here, you’re too stupid to continue, leave at the next cross street, and be aware that our cameras have alerted both child services and the animal protection league.”

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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