is new street lighting safe
I've not tried night running (its night time to me if its dark: even if its only 5pm!) I would suggest a running torch which you can wear on your head or waist but know that doesn't really answer the problem as you'd still not get full view of whats going on.
I don't run at night because I'm more worried about my personal security and the fact that far fewer people are about, its like the coined term: in space, no one can hear you scream! I guess thats all part of living in London though where satanicly bread dogs are build to kill. (And yes, we do have reports of them doing just this in our local paper too often). I guess if I were running and I didn't feel the lighting was helpful, I'd write to my local council, complain, see if there was a local running group and get in contact, see if they also had concerns and also get them to write to the council. Its your taxes and they are funding these lights, if they are not doing what they need to be (why have lamps if they are useless to those that need them) then something needs to be done.
Other then that, revising your route so you stay on ground you know well could also be an option. Boring I know but maybe if you were to devise a few routes this could be an option?
Hi Shelagh. Here are some things to consider.
1. If your fear is more about tripping, running with a club will do nothing to change that (other than someone will be there to pick you up).
2. Walkers are attacked because they often have handbags / cash / credit cards / expensive phones / jewellery. For all intents and purposes, runners have nothing. OK, so we might have a Garmin worth a bob or two but nothing that a druggie can sell quickly down the pub. And, let's face it, that's what most muggings / attacks are about.
3. Whilst industrial estates can seem a bit creepy, they're actually not bad places to run (I know as I have and still do run on them). Traffic is less than out on the roads. Most have 24 hour CCTV. Most have security driving around checking premises. Many are used for overnight stops by lorry drivers so, although you might not see them, there are probably quite a lot of people around.
4. If you can only see clearly under a reduced number of street lights, then others can see you a reduced number of times, too, so you're probably at less risk of being noticed (unless you believe that a mugger is lurking under a light waiting for you to go past, in which case, the lit areas are the most dangerouis!!).
Please don't think I'm trying to be a smart arse by saying these things because I'm not. I'm trying to put your worries into perspective so that, hopefully, they won't continue to be reasons for you to fear going for a run.
One thing to make sure of.....never run consistently on the same route because that really can put you at more risk. Just be smart, don't run with ear phones in at night and always let someone know where you're going and when you expect to be back. Running at night really is no more dangerous than running in the day......it just 'feels' worse. And believe me, there is nothing more spooky than running down a dark country lane, miles from anyone and suddenly you hear a sheep cough!!!!!!! Even my own sheep spook me sometimes when i go down our field to get the horses in at night.......and that's on my own land!! lol
I can see Shelagh's point to an extent where your routes may take you down enclosed side paths or under subways, etc especially on industrial estates where you may get the local 'yoof' congrating and horsing around. But at the same time industrial estates do tend to have quite wide main roads for vehicles to make deliveries or transport goods so I would plan a route that would keep me on those type of roads. This usually occurs in the evening but extremely rarely early morning as they are usually tucked up in bed till midday.
I tend to startle those going to or from work from 'earlies' as I do half my weeks running at 4am and they do not expect a bloke in a flouro top whizzing past them.
Agreed, the dross don't tend to get up until lunchtime. Those who have to, to get their feral kids to school, are usually sat in front of Jeremy Kyle for most of the morning, too.
On this subject, I used to work for a company who worked on behalf of the council, fitting nice new kitchens and bathrooms in shit hole houses, paid for by the tax payer and usually wrecked within days of fitting. I did the design and planning. You wouldn't believe the number of houses where people hung out of the bedroom window asking us to go back after dinner!! Or they'd begrudgingly let us in, then slop around in their pyjamas, smoking fags and shouting at the kids!! Also, I was amazed at the number of houses who kept their curtains shut all day and had the lights on (always an energy bulb with no shade!!). Apparently, so the debt collectors can't see if they're in or out!! Oh yes, it's another world.
Shelagh Lee wrote (see)
I think peoples' attitude to how safe they feel depends on their life experiences. If you have never had a really nasty personal experience then I guess that perhaps you think it could never happen to you. If you have then you know it might.I am determined to keep running. However I have to do it like everyone else with the constraints ife puts on you. With a seriously disabled husband and a full time job much though I would love to join a running club I know this is not a possibility. also know that I have to grab chances to run whether it is dark or pouring in rain. However I also know that mentally I enjoy running more in the light than the dark.I take all sensible precautions - an alarm, a phone, a detailed map of where I am going left behind, different routes, florescent clothing, no head phones etc. However....... last year with the old style lighting felt safer. I just wish they had asked which we would have prefered - pavements without potholes and broken curbs or new street lighting. With a limited pot of money I know which I would prefer.
When you know there are kids with dogs they cannot control set loose on the streets, when you have read stories after stories of small children in your area being torn apart by American pit-bull terriers (banned) or watch them being taught to bite by tearing chunks out of a tree or being left to dangle from a branch on a tree...read about them catching and killing cats and even foxes...sorry, none of it my personal experience but that doesn't mean I am not at risk if I chose to put myself in a position where it could be.
I have however had rocks thrown at me from speeding cars and witnessed the same with other people running, everything from eggs to bottles of what I hope was just water. If mainicas like that live or even just visit in the area I do, I do not want to be around them.
I don't think its down to experiences as much as reading and learning about the world around you and being street smart. There are some places where its fine to run at night. Others you'd not even consider it. Sad but that is the world we live in, two worlds. You only have to look at the riots in the summer to know that. Readng the newspapers you'd see that infact nothing is being done to deal with the types who both started and maintained the riots because I think to many, its still such a shock that they are in disbelief! Trust me, there are some nasty people out there and they all seem to live fairly near to each other in small pockets around the country. You just don't want to run at night and risk giving them something to fill their boredom on!
Hope you had a good run, Shelagh Is it possible for you to run in the edge of the road, facing oncoming traffic, and just hop onto the pavement if there's a car coming? That would, at least, take you off the dodgy pavements for some of the time?
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