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-   -   Sidewalk bicycling (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/100823-sidewalk-bicycling.html)

Shadowex3 09-06-10 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper (Post 11393214)
Cycling on the sidewalk is between two times and twenty-five times more dangerous than cycling in the road. That's why I don't do it. It's also illegal in most places, which is another good reason not to do it.

Yeah I think we've already had this conversation a couple dozen times. It's "more dangerous" in the sense that you can count every single skinned knee as an "Injury" or "incident" and get skewed numbers, and it's illegal in most places as in "most places we specifically checked to make sure it was illegal".

ianbrettcooper 09-07-10 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadowex3 (Post 11419913)
Yeah I think we've already had this conversation a couple dozen times. It's "more dangerous" in the sense that you can count every single skinned knee as an "Injury" or "incident" and get skewed numbers, and it's illegal in most places as in "most places we specifically checked to make sure it was illegal".

Sidewalk cycling is illegal in every country I've cycled in - and I've cycled in quite a few. I've also looked it up in a few more countries and everywhere I've looked it's illegal. So from that standpoint, yeah, you're right. But I don't see you looking to check anywhere that it is legal either, so I could say the same. Sure, it may be legal in some countries, but I think it's unlikely, given that most pedestrians don't like being startled by silent wheeled steel vehicles passing within a couple of feet of them at 10mph. So I think it highly unlikely that 'most' countries on the planet allow sidewalk cycling, other than for kids.

As for it being dangerous, the numbers are definitely in on that. I don't count injuries as 'dangerous' anyway - if you survive, you got past the danger so it doesn't really count (unless you're severely brain damaged or something). But if you don't buy the injury figures, just take deaths. In every study I've seen, deaths from cycling legally in the roadway are fewer than deaths occurring after cycling on the sidewalk. Death is pretty final, and whatever got you there is as dangerous as it can get.

myrridin 09-07-10 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper (Post 11393214)
Cycling on the sidewalk is between two times and twenty-five times more dangerous than cycling in the road. That's why I don't do it. It's also illegal in most places, which is another good reason not to do it.

Would you care to provide a link that cycling on a sidewalk at pedestrian speeds (which implies behaving like a pedestrian) is more dangerous than cycling on a road? Also, I question if it is illegal in most places, do you have a cite?

Shadowex3 09-07-10 04:50 PM

If he had cites he would've been waving them in our faces from the get go and naming countries instead of playing semantic games with what is and isn't "danger" and insisting "the numbers are definitely in" without actually proving it, likely because I already cut off the usual studies that just lump everything that can barely and remotely be considered a bicycle "injury" together. If any others even exist I'd be willing to bet they use similar tricks.

Another clue is the contradiction, he mentions cycling in "quite a few" countries yet still behaves as though all sidewalks are the exceedingly narrow things they are here in the states. When I was in Finland just last year the sidewalks were easily as large as a traffic lane itself and had a marked section just for bicycles. All the research I've done into cycling-heavy european countries and cities seems to show that this is the norm in those areas, having a large dedicated area for bicycles which is seperated from the road more harshly than it is from the sidewalk if it is at all on that side.

I've got a feeling that's going to get handwaved away with semantic games as usual though, playing the no-true-scottsman game with what is and isn't a REAL sidewalk.

ianbrettcooper 09-07-10 07:57 PM

Yeah, like Finland is the world's model for sidewalk construction! And you say I'M the one playing games. I've cycled 10,000 miles through 13 European countries, travelled by train in a few more. Heck, I was born and brought up in Europe, lived there for 28 years and I can assure you that the vast majority of European sidewalks are SMALLER than American ones.

Look, if you want to cycle on the sidewalk, go right ahead. It's your funeral. Just don't try to pretend it's safer, 'cos it isn't.

Greyryder 09-07-10 10:37 PM

Worst injury I've ever had riding bike, I got riding on the sidewalk. Now, I'm fortunate that I've never had a really serious cycling related injury. This was just a gash on my little finger, but it was nearly as wide as it was deep, and took hours to stop its slow oozing of blood. However, it was also the closest I've ever come to dieing. I fell out into the street, and looked up in time to see an Oldsmobile standing on its nose to keep from hitting me.

I'm not saying that are never times when riding on the sidewalk is justified, but most times you're better off in the road, with the other vehicles.

elihu23 09-08-10 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson (Post 1080595)
I'm not "VC" or "PC" or any of that, but I've never heard anything to convince me riding the sidewalk ISN'T hazardous compared to the street. Unless you're in a really laid back suburb or out in the country riding on the sidewalk is pretty effing dumb. Anybody who would be looking out for you on the road won't really think to look on the sidewalk, rendering you invisible, you have to follow pedestrian rules, making your travel time longer, pedestrians won't think to look out for you, there are tons of blind corners and such on sidewalks. It's just kind of a silly thing to do unless you're a little kid and don't know better.

Right on brother!

elihu23 09-08-10 09:22 AM

This is why I dislike MUP's so much--sharing with pedestrians stinks! They are far more inconsiderate and they do actually have the right of way, so I prefer to stay on the road and generally walk my bike on sidewalks. I also agree about the two-way bike lanes--they are generally too narrow here in NYC, and you can't really keep pedestrians off those either.

noisebeam 09-08-10 09:30 AM

As a strong proponent of not cycling on sidewalks I do believe it is possible to do so with relative safety. This means at a slow pace due to uneven surfaces, pedestrians and poor sight lines. One must also stop at every intersection/driveway to ensure no vehicle is turning across (from all directions!). Overall this results in significantly slower travel. I know that I don't have the discipline, the patience nor the time to so I have always used the road as it is far more convenient and comfortable.

trx1 09-22-10 07:09 PM

all that for BOSTON. come to my town and the stats will be reversed!

pletcgm 09-23-10 12:15 PM

I have started commuting back and forth to the office. Of all the thousands of miles I have ridden, there is one strip, about 1/2 mile, I get on the sidewalk because the cars on that road scare me to death. It goes through the projects, which is the only way to the west side of Nashville from the downtown area, other than interstate.

hotbike 09-26-10 05:42 PM

This is how I installed a camera on my bike (the Type Eleven):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzPy3p24exg

This next vid shows some sidewalk bicycling, but you can see how bad the road is, in the gutter next to the curb:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B7tBoW6gtU
How do you like the new sidewalk? I think it is well done, even though the road went "on a diet" to make the sidewalk wider.

A bit more sidewalk riding, before pulling out and taking the lane:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scIxVh7jJ28

My Five Hundredth Video! At the Glen Street LIRR station:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcG9qUWUHn4

009jim 10-03-10 02:12 AM

What? Is the argument that if you ride on the sidewalk you can collide with a car that enters private property? I had a close call like that one time. The last mile or so before I get to work, I take the sidewalk. It's legal here. But I do go fairly slow and watch at driveways. At least there is the advantage that a vehicle leaving or entering private property is going slow though.

dpeters11 10-04-10 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 009jim (Post 11561258)
What? Is the argument that if you ride on the sidewalk you can collide with a car that enters private property? I had a close call like that one time. The last mile or so before I get to work, I take the sidewalk. It's legal here. But I do go fairly slow and watch at driveways. At least there is the advantage that a vehicle leaving or entering private property is going slow though.

That's one reason. Personally I think it's also more dangerous as you have a narrower strip of pavement, with more obstacles. In my area, you'd be close to road signs on one side, and potential obstacles (trash cans etc) on the other. It's a fairly moot point for me, sidewalk cycling is illegal in my city when over the age of 14.

ianbrettcooper 10-04-10 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 009jim (Post 11561258)
What? Is the argument that if you ride on the sidewalk you can collide with a car that enters private property?

That is one danger. But the main danger comes at intersections, at the point where you have to leave the sidewalk. Drivers tend to be looking at the places where vehicle threats are likely to come from - especially vehicles that could intersect their path. They are not usually considering things coming from the sidewalk as a major threat, so they tend to pay less attention there. Also, if you're riding on the sidewalk against vehicular traffic, drivers pay even less attention to you.

Personally, I try to never ride on the sidewalk unless:

1. I know it's legal to do so (including legality of cycling across all types of crosswalk - it is not always the case that these go hand-in-hand).
2. I'm on the same block as my destination (meaning I won't be crossing an intersection).

The thing is, if you're in an accident and it's illegal to be where you were when you were hit, you're going to be deemed at fault. This can cost a lot of money and if you're injured or killed by a driver who is also at fault, you (or your family) have no chance of getting any sort of recompense or justice.

APER, Man! 10-24-10 02:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper (Post 11567594)
1. I know it's legal to do so (including legality of cycling across all types of crosswalk - it is not always the case that these go hand-in-hand).
2. I'm on the same block as my destination (meaning I won't be crossing an intersection).

I would add:
3. The particular street (for whatever reason) is too dangerous.

mikeybikes 10-26-10 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by APER, Man! (Post 11670027)
I would add:
3. The particular street (for whatever reason) is too dangerous.

The issue with that is it's subjective.

IMO, I've found very few roads where I would ever feel safer on the sidewalk than I would the road. In the city I live in (Golden), I can't think of one road where I feel safer on the sidewalk. Quite the contrary, most sidewalks here I feel put you at more risk of a collision than the road.

Yet, when I try to encourage my friends to ride in the road, they say "It's too dangerous!" They just for whatever reason, can't imagine riding on a 35mph arterial here.

ianbrettcooper 10-26-10 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by APER, Man! (Post 11670027)
I would add:
3. The particular street (for whatever reason) is too dangerous.

If a street is too dangerous, you can be sure that crossing an intersection on the sidewalk is even more so. You're always better-off in the street, where cars can see you, than on the sidewalk where they cannot.

LesterOfPuppets 10-26-10 01:01 PM

I'm pretty picky about my sidewalks for cycling. This is one of the few I ride. It stays much drier than the bikelane and that really sells it for me.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._7240150_n.jpg

Jaytron 10-26-10 06:59 PM

I really do hate riding on the sidewalk. However I went to a city I was unfamiliar with (Chicago) and was intimidated... ended up riding on the sidewalk a few times :(

ianbrettcooper 10-26-10 07:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jaytron (Post 11685449)
I really do hate riding on the sidewalk. However I went to a city I was unfamiliar with (Chicago) and was intimidated... ended up riding on the sidewalk a few times :(

Okay, but you're being intimidated by a way of riding that's SAFER (two to three TIMES safer) than a way of riding that makes you 'feel' safer but isn't - and then you're allowing your fear to overwhelm your intellect and choosing the more dangerous option. It's like being afraid to fly on a commercial airliner and then choosing skydiving as a hobby. It makes no rational sense.

noisebeam 10-26-10 08:04 PM

Riding on a sidewalk can be reasonably safe if one is aware of the all the potential hazards and proactively addresses each and every one. However because doing so slows one down considerably and is tedious is very easy to become complacent to them and not treat each and every one with the attention required.

SpiderJones 10-26-10 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper (Post 11567594)
That is one danger. But the main danger comes at intersections, at the point where you have to leave the sidewalk. Drivers tend to be looking at the places where vehicle threats are likely to come from - especially vehicles that could intersect their path. They are not usually considering things coming from the sidewalk as a major threat, so they tend to pay less attention there. Also, if you're riding on the sidewalk against vehicular traffic, drivers pay even less attention to you.

I just collected a datapoint on campus at work today, to support this point. As a cyclist of course I am always on the lookout for cyclists. I was at a T-junction intersection, with a yield into the major road. Traffic is very light, maybe one car a minute at peak. I was looking left (and right) to turn left. The road was completely empty. I started to turn left. What I DIDN'T SEE was a guy on a mountain bike riding on the sidewalk. When I started to pull out, he entered the intersection: I saw him and stopped. If I was going faster and taking less notice he would have smacked into the side of my car. If he had been riding anywhere in the road I would have seen him early.

No actual harm done, but I hope he learned that he would have been safer on the road than on the sidewalk. I learned that i should pay more attention to unexpected things on the sidewalk.

rando 10-26-10 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets (Post 11683498)
I'm pretty picky about my sidewalks for cycling. This is one of the few I ride. It stays much drier than the bikelane and that really sells it for me.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._7240150_n.jpg

There's no reason to NOt ride that sidewalk.

noisebeam 10-26-10 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rando (Post 11685969)
There's no reason to NOt ride that sidewalk.

Sure there is - the unknown hiding in the fog


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