Running in an urban setting provides some advanatges for runners, mainly a variety of potential running routes meaning you can avoid having to run the same route every day.
However, running in an urban centre also brings with it a hazard that runners have to be constantly aware of, traffic. Ottawa is certainly not nearly as congested or plagued with traffic problems as larger cities but we certainly have our share of aggressive and inattentive drivers.
Due to some close calls that involved me swearing at drivers or banging on the side of vehicles, I pay extra attention when I cross streets while I am out running.
Tonight was one instance where where that vigilance paid off. As I was waiting to cross the street at an intersection I noticed a taxi approaching at a high rate of speed. Sure enough, the driver did not slow down as the light changed from yellow to red and he ran the light to make a left turn. Had I started crossing as soon as the walk signal came up I would have been in the path of the taxi. Unfortunately I did not catch the number of the taxi or its license plate number or I would have reported the info (the close calls I have had are one reason I make sure to always have a cell phone with me when I run).
It seems like many drivers think they are more important than others and place pedestrians in danger with their actions. If you regularly run in an urban centre remember to always be vigilant of the traffic around you.