HAT 50K Training – Week 16 Recap (Illegal to Run in the Street)

I can’t believe that the race is in two weeks. And in two weeks, I’m going to have the pleasure of saying that I’m officially an ultrarunner. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! We’re in taper and this weekend long runs were 2 hours of trail yesterday and 10 miles on the road today. Each run was pretty uneventful for me, but it didn’t make me appreciate them any less. I enjoyed the company and had a pretty decent time. There is one thing that I found out this weekend that blew my mind…it is illegal to run in the street in Maryland if there is a sidewalk available.

So a friend of mine went out for a run and was running on the shoulder between the sidewalk and the bike lane. She was avoiding the sidewalks because they were still a little bit icy yesterday morning. A cop actually “pulled her over” and told her she needed to be on the sidewalk. She got on the sidewalk and then continued to trip on the uneven, icy concrete and completely wiped out ripping up her gear and gloves. Here’s a picture of where it happened.


I called a cop friend of mine who happens to also be a runner and she never heard of such a thing. She was actually funny…she said that even if it were a law, no one really enforces it and the offending cop was a loser. I heart her. After some research we found out that yes, if there is a sidewalk, you must use it:

Md. TRANSPORTATION Code Ann. § 21-506  (2014)
§ 21-506. Pedestrians on roadways

(a) Where sidewalks provided. — Where a sidewalk is provided, a pedestrian may not walk along and on an adjacent roadway.

(b) Where sidewalks not provided. — Where a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian who walks along and on a highway may walk only on the left shoulder, if practicable, or on the left side of the roadway, as near as practicable to the edge of the roadway, facing any traffic that might approach from the opposite direction.

It makes sense, but I didn’t think it was a big deal and I surly didn’t think it was that law. I just never heard of anyone getting “pulled over” for running in the street. If you want to check out the laws in your area, click this link, find your state and do a search for “pedestrian.”

Will this make me run on the sidewalk when one is available, probably not. I only run on the sidewalk when there is heavy traffic or if there is a very narrow street. Running on concrete is horrible on the knees and I can’t imaging doing double digit miles on that surface.

Did you know about this law? Has this ever happened to you?

13 thoughts on “HAT 50K Training – Week 16 Recap (Illegal to Run in the Street)

  1. I often run in the street even though there is a sidewalk–only on quiet neighborhood roads though! I have no idea if it’s illegal in Ohio, but I will remain blissfully ignorant and carry on doing it 😉

  2. I never knew that was a law although it does make sense. I am so worried about safety these days with all of the sad incidents of runners being hit 😦
    Good luck with your 50K! I am hoping to do one at some point, maybe this summer. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  3. No CRAP!
    I’m a runner an I always run on the sidewalk, if its there. There is no advantage to running in the street. If you get ran over by a car you are technically liable for all your injuries.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s