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  1. #776
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    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.

  2. #777
    Senior Member trx1's Avatar
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    all that for BOSTON. come to my town and the stats will be reversed!

  3. #778
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    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.

  4. #779
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    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
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  5. #780
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #781
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
    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.

  7. #782
    Senior Member ianbrettcooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
    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.
    1997 Jamis Aragon (converted to touring bike), two white 1974 Gazelle-built Raleigh Grands Prix, two red 1973 Gazelle-built Raleigh Grands Prix.

    All I need is a bike and a road, and to be left with the same freedom any other road user has to decide what's the safest lane position.

  8. #783
    Member APER, Man!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper View Post
    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.
    1989 Kestrel 200 SCi

  9. #784
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by APER, Man! View Post
    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.
    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata 610 | 1970 Hercules | 198? Miele ?
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  10. #785
    Senior Member ianbrettcooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by APER, Man! View Post
    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.
    1997 Jamis Aragon (converted to touring bike), two white 1974 Gazelle-built Raleigh Grands Prix, two red 1973 Gazelle-built Raleigh Grands Prix.

    All I need is a bike and a road, and to be left with the same freedom any other road user has to decide what's the safest lane position.

  11. #786
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    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.

    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  12. #787
    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    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
    PedalRoom

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  13. #788
    Senior Member ianbrettcooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaytron View Post
    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.
    1997 Jamis Aragon (converted to touring bike), two white 1974 Gazelle-built Raleigh Grands Prix, two red 1973 Gazelle-built Raleigh Grands Prix.

    All I need is a bike and a road, and to be left with the same freedom any other road user has to decide what's the safest lane position.

  14. #789
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    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.

  15. #790
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper View Post
    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.

  16. #791
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    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.

    There's no reason to NOt ride that sidewalk.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  17. #792
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando View Post
    There's no reason to NOt ride that sidewalk.
    Sure there is - the unknown hiding in the fog

  18. #793
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando View Post
    There's no reason to NOt ride that sidewalk.
    Depends on how the sidewalk ends at the intersections and if it dumps you onto the road at some awkward spot. Many of paths are nice until you reach another road.

    Also, those concrete slabs don't look to be the most even.

    Also, while there appears to be no pedestrians, what if you did run into one? That sidewalk isn't very wide. It would be difficult to pass the pedestrian if you came up on them in the fog at speed..

    So yes, there are reasons to not ride that sidewalk.
    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata 610 | 1970 Hercules | 198? Miele ?
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  19. #794
    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianbrettcooper View Post
    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.
    I didn't know it was that much safer to be honest. I just knew that sidewalk was a no-no. I need to look into this more
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  20. #795

  21. #796
    Senior Member rusted_rider's Avatar
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    get on the road

  22. #797
    Senior Member Shadowex3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaytron View Post
    I didn't know it was that much safer to be honest. I just knew that sidewalk was a no-no. I need to look into this more
    Take count of every single bruise, bump, and skinned knee without regard to circumstances (car jumps a curb, cat, User Error) and call it an injury and yeah it's safer. Limit yourself to fatalities or serious injuries caused by rider error and it's probably not.

    Ride in the street recklessly and bad things happen, ride on the sidewalk recklessly and bad things happen. Safety is in how you choose to ride, wherever you ride you need to behave appropriately for the conditions. Think of it like someone drivingly blindly, too fast, while on their cellphone, and in the rain just because they're in a hummer. They've got a deathwish just like someone riding like an idiot on the sidewalk has a deathwish just like someone riding like an idiot in the street has a deathwish.

    Always remember there are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.
    Last edited by Shadowex3; 11-08-10 at 02:15 AM.

  23. #798
    Cyclist storckm's Avatar
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    In the past two years or so of living on Main Street, I've seen two cyclists injured. Both this past summer, and both were riding on the sidewalk. There have been more car crashes--I haven't kept count. No cyclists riding on the road were injured.

  24. #799
    Senior Member Shadowex3's Avatar
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    And I've been privy to several dozen incidences of people getting hurt by seatbelts and their bars of soap, does that mean that seatbelts and soap are both bad? The plural of "anecdote" is not data.

  25. #800
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    I recognize that sidewalk riding is more dangerous because most accidents happen at intersections, and sidewalks create more intersections which do not endanger drivers, so they totally ignore them. That being said I do ride a few select sidewalks and it depends upon the density of traffic, width of the thoroughfare and the number of driveways. It really has to be subjectively chosen on a case by case basis.
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