During the COVID pandemic, we have seen a huge influx of walkers and runners on the streets, avenues, and lanes of Atherton. This is a great way to support positive mental health, reduce anxiety, and to spend quality time with family and friends. With the increased number of walkers and joggers on the Atherton streets, we want to make sure everyone is staying safe when walking and running outdoors.
You can do that by maintaining a safe physical distance (6 feet), especially if you encounter other walkers/runners. Per the current COVID protection restrictions, you are not required to wears a face mask while walking, running, or biking, but is strongly suggested you carry one in case you encounter a close distance situation.
Also consider the following safety tips when you are walking and running around the Town of Atherton:
Run and walk on the left side of the road facing oncoming traffic and stay out of the traveled portions of the road as much as possible (California Vehicle Traffic Code 21956).
Caution/Warning signs will be placed around the Town’s main walking/running routes as a reminder to walk/run on the left side of the road.
A bicycle is considered a vehicle, so it is subject to the same laws as cars and trucks. Cyclists ride with traffic. Unlike cyclists, walkers/runners are in a highly vulnerable position if you’re walking/running near cars, trucks, and bicycles, especially when your back is to them.
Beware of stopped cars waiting to make turns.
Stop and wait until they make the turn or walk/run behind them.
If you run/walk at night, make yourself visible.
Wear bright colored clothing, carry a flashlight and invest a few dollars in a reflective vest and led warning lights.
Carry a cell phone and identification.
Consider not wearing a music headset.
This is the No. 1 rule for safe walking/running. Why? Because when you listen to music or the radio while running outside, you can’t hear car horns, cyclists, or the footsteps of someone coming up behind you.
Don’t stop to give directions to strangers in cars or on foot if you are walking/running alone.
Always call the Police if something happens to you or someone else or if you see something or someone suspicious. SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING.
Please feel free to call us on our non-emergency line with questions or concerns at 688-6500 or 911 for any emergency.
Stay healthy, stay well and stay safe.
Steven D. McCulley
Chief of Police
Atherton Police Department