Why Do They Do It in the Road?

With "do it," in this case, being walk and jog.

My campus has boatloads of grassy verges along every roadway, well-trimmed, relatively free of dog poop, and just generally pleasant. So why do 90% of those out for a constitutional or a jog stay strictly on the asphalt? Today I watched a woman force a full-sized bus to swerve out into my lane, so I was driving straight at it, by staying in the bus's lane, despite having a fifteen-foot-wide area of grass just two feet away.

And what's more, it must be far better for runner's joints to run on grass than on tarmac. It is as though the joggers are more afraid of dandelions than of several-ton motorized vehicles moving at high speed.


  1. It takes more energy to run on a soft surface that absorbs more, which leads me to believe they want to maximize their distance or speed rather than their energy consumption or it's just laziness, even in running.

  2. I have the same question. They do it in my neighborhood, which has actual sidewalks. You know, for pedestrian traffic.

    I'm guessing that they are actually more afraid of twisting an ankle on an uneven surface, like a hidden divot in the grass, or the aprons in the sidewalk at every driveway. They want to be able to keep up a rhythm without having to think about foot placement.

  3. I think the answer (at least for joggers) is that the risk of turning an ankle is much higher on both grass and paved sidewalk compared to asphalt because of the uneven surface. If you have an expensive pair of running shoes they come with enough padding to protect your joints.

  4. You can also run faster on asphalt, though you pay a price.

  5. Anonymous9:23 PM

    A lot of these sidewalks have uneven bumps occasionally, so if you don't pick your feet up high enough and aren't paying much attention, you can trip on a bump and injure yourself.

    That's why I prefer a treadmill if I'm going to jog. Not interested in smelling in car fumes on the main road either.


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