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Old 11-15-10, 12:20 PM   #801
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My attitude is this: anyone who ever chooses to ride their bicycle through an intersection from a sidewalk simply doesn't understand how incredibly dangerous it is to do so. If they knew the danger, they would never do it.
It's no more dangerous than walking through an intersection from a sidewalk, provided you keep your brakes covered and don't just jump off the curb without looking and making sure it's safe to do so first.
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Old 11-15-10, 12:33 PM   #802
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It's no more dangerous than walking through an intersection from a sidewalk, provided you keep your brakes covered and don't just jump off the curb without looking and making sure it's safe to do so first.
Like I said, anyone who ever chooses to ride their bicycle through an intersection from a sidewalk simply doesn't understand how incredibly dangerous it is to do so.
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Old 11-15-10, 01:00 PM   #803
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Like I said, anyone who ever chooses to ride their bicycle through an intersection from a sidewalk simply doesn't understand how incredibly dangerous it is to do so.
That's a silly statement. Just because someone might choose to do something doesn't mean they don't understand any dangers involved, and as I suggested earlier, adjusting their riding accordingly can make it just as safe as walking.

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Old 11-15-10, 01:04 PM   #804
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I don't or have extremely rarely (to the point I can't remember the last time when) cycled on a sidewalk. However if I had to I know I could do it with reasonable safety. It would be annoying, but I could.
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Old 11-15-10, 02:56 PM   #805
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That's a silly statement. Just because someone might choose to do something doesn't mean they don't understand any dangers involved, and as I suggested earlier, adjusting their riding accordingly can make it just as safe as walking.
There are lots of problems with that statement. Firstly, being as safe as reasonably possible is not 'silly'. Second, the fact that someone chooses to do something doesn't mean that something is safe, and it may indeed mean that they don't understand the risk they're taking. Thirdly, 'as safe as walking' is not as safe as cycling through the intersection in the road. Pedestrians get injured all the time crossing on a crosswalk. If all you want is to be as safe as pedestrians in a crosswalk, I'd say your safety bar is set too low.
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Old 11-15-10, 03:24 PM   #806
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If all you want is to be as safe as pedestrians in a crosswalk, I'd say your safety bar is set too low.
I'd want to be as safe as a pedestrian who is aware of the hazards and is taking proactive steps to address them. I believe that sets a bar for a reasonable level of safety.
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Old 11-15-10, 03:45 PM   #807
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I'd want to be as safe as a pedestrian who is aware of the hazards and is taking proactive steps to address them. I believe that sets a bar for a reasonable level of safety.
You daredevil!

Seriously, if someone is afraid to cross the street on foot, at a crosswalk no less, then I'd say their safety bar is set too high.
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Old 11-15-10, 03:51 PM   #808
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I'd want to be as safe as a pedestrian who is aware of the hazards and is taking proactive steps to address them. I believe that sets a bar for a reasonable level of safety.
Exactly.

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You daredevil!

Seriously, if someone is afraid to cross the street on foot, at a crosswalk no less, then I'd say their safety bar is set too high.
Exactly.
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Old 11-15-10, 04:50 PM   #809
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That's a silly statement. Just because someone might choose to do something doesn't mean they don't understand any dangers involved, and as I suggested earlier, adjusting their riding accordingly can make it just as safe as walking.
If you slow down adequately you should be fine, motorists expect to see pedestrians (at pedestrian speed).
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Old 11-15-10, 05:28 PM   #810
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I always stop to look before crossing when on foot. Probably a good idea to come to a complete stop before proceeding on a bike as well. If you're good you can keep rolling and shoulder check to make sure you don't get right hooked. Make sure you don't ram a utility pole!

Be VERY wary of left turners approaching from the opposite direction. They frequently have a hairtrigger on the throttle ready to gun it in any gap in oncoming traffic. To the motorist, you rolling into the intersection from the sidewalk do not count as traffic, only background noise. They're strictly looking for cars.
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Old 11-15-10, 05:49 PM   #811
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I always stop to look before crossing when on foot. Probably a good idea to come to a complete stop before proceeding on a bike as well. If you're good you can keep rolling and shoulder check to make sure you don't get right hooked. Make sure you don't ram a utility pole!

Be VERY wary of left turners approaching from the opposite direction. They frequently have a hairtrigger on the throttle ready to gun it in any gap in oncoming traffic. To the motorist, you rolling into the intersection from the sidewalk do not count as traffic, only background noise. They're strictly looking for cars.
And of course vehicles coming from the driveway or roadway to your right (assuming you are traveling same direction as vehicular traffic flow). Traffic from this direction can come 'out of nowhere' quickly and often with little to no sight lines.
Oh, and watch for uneven surfaces. So much to watch for you might as well be on foot.
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Old 11-15-10, 05:55 PM   #812
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Yes, good point. Especially if the road to the right is, say 2 lanes of forward travel and one right turn and the forward travel lanes are occupied by high profile vehicles. Very few right turning vehicles in right turn lanes stop at the stop line. They can really surprise you if you're rolling in the x-walk in front of a couple of Escalades and a UPS truck. You won't see the dude in the Honda rolling in the right turn lane 'til you're right there on 'em. Honda dude won't see you 'til you're on his hood, either - assuming you're doing more than 4 mph.

I might add that these are HUGE concerns when riding in a lane or bike lane alignment. They only get MORE HUGE when you're riding in a crosswalk alignment.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 11-15-10 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 11-16-10, 08:34 PM   #813
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There's a stretch of road that I find intimidating on my commute. I'm normally on the sidewalk riding past it. I gear way down so I won't be tempted to go fast. I happen across one of these driveways that's very busy. I usually use a 'cover car' to keep away from the hair triggers turning left. I know they see the car, I'm crossing the driveway behind it.
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Old 11-28-10, 11:16 PM   #814
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There is an intersection about a mile from my work where a 40 mph North-South road with 4 lanes of traffic and a shared center left-turn lane intersects a 30 mph E-W road with 2 traffic lanes and 2 right-turn lanes. The intersection has traffic signals. Crossing east in the crosswalk is almost unthinkably dangerous, even on foot. I was hit there last year by a left-turning van and have had numerous close calls there both before and since then. Coincidentally, my cousin operates a business next to this intersection. He says that his workers will not use the crosswalk there to get lunch anymore. They jump in their cars just to cross the street.
In the three years I have been commuting, I have reduced the frequency of occassions in which I have to lock up the brakes to avoid collisions. When I started out, I was riding about a mile on the sidewalk each way and was locking up the brakes twice a day on average. When I looked at it, I noticed that over 90% of my lockups happened while attempting to cross driveways on the sidewalk or to cross side streets in a crosswalk. When I changed my route to avoid this sidewalk and ride with traffic on a different, lower traffic road, my lockup rate dropped to once per week. Better bike lighting (blinding daytime front strobe) reduced it a bunch more. Some of the reduction was also probably due to my riding skills improving. I am currently down to about 1 lockup per month, and they are mostly at this one intersection. I pretty much have to approach this intersection from the south on the left sidewalk for about 100 yds and turn right at the light. I will typically wait on the sidewalk until I have a green light and walk light, and then attempt to cross in the crosswalk. Even with a bright white strobe on the back of my helmet, most cars will not look to the right before they make their right turns. I am not able to move out into the E-W traffic lane on a green light because of the constant stream of right-turning cars blocking the N-S crosswalk. Yelling at them doesn't seem to help and there is not enough room to get around them. I recently began heading west (opposite of the direction I need to go) on the grass alongside the E-W road until I could get in behind the traffic at the light, pull a u-turn into traffic and then proceed vehicularly in the traffic lane back eastward through the intersection. This had been working quite well until last week, when this grassy area was covered about a foot deep with plowed snow. I then began to head west before the intersection through parking lots and cross-country through some not so deep snow until I could come out on the cross street west of the intersection and again, pass through it using the traffic lane.

Life is much better now that I am no longer using that crosswalk.
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Old 02-02-11, 04:39 PM   #815
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I honestly can't believe there's a "debate" about this. Really? 824 posts in 33 pages? About sidewalks? Geez.

Sidewalk.
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Old 02-02-11, 04:45 PM   #816
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Cyclists who ride on sidewalks make it harder (in regard to motorists) on those of us who have sense enough to use the road.
Good point. Every time I hear someone yell, "Get off the road" from a vehicle as they pass by, I'll know who to thank: sidewalk riding pantywaists.
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Old 02-13-11, 04:40 AM   #817
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the bicycle is a wonderful invention. it was originally dubbed, the 'velocipede,' as in 'fast walking,' or 'velocity' and 'pedestrian.' in the early days of cycling at the turn of the 20th century, pedestrians sometimes hated cyclists because they zipped past without warning or much noise. keeping cyclists off the sidewalk was probably more to keep them away from pedestrians than anything else. i can startle pedestrians just by cruising past them on the road and see them jump all the way over on the sidewalk, not that i am trying to scare anybody.

now, since motorists have replaced pedestrians as more common these days in america, cyclists again are seen as a nuisance. who hasn't heard, 'get on the sidewalk!' so really, no matter where we ride, we are not exactly welcome, being in the minority. we are more or less tolerated.

so the cyclist really has to decide the best place to ride. if most people were cyclists, the streets would be designed for cyclists in mind. they really aren't, not usually, but if there is any place made for cyclists its more of an afterthought. not to blame government, but we cyclists are not really most people's biggest concern, except maybe to get us out of the way so they don't miss a traffic light.

all things considered, i ride where it's most convenient. that usually means the street, sometimes a limited-access path, occasionally a sidewalk. but for me, i think i cover the most ground the most safely on the road. i sometimes hit the sidewalk for an advantage, like cutting through at a dead-end street to save time, or when one-way streets would make me go twice as far. but i've found sidewalks in general to be a bad idea most of the time, because every driveway is an intersection, the surfaces can be cracked and broken, littered with glass, blocked with trees or signposts, even filled with pedestrians (who would think?)

but legalistic, i'm not. each mode has it's own advantages or risks, based on each situation. there is no hard-and-fast rule that can always be applied. life is not a math calculation. just remember, if you ride the sidewalk, learn about it's particular dangers. to do so you must remember it's designed for walking people, so keep your speed down. yield to pedestrians, look 360 degrees. be very, very careful, you will be dodging pedestrians and motor vehicles, and neither one is looking for you. pedestrians do not have rear-views and can suddenly change course. some may even assault you (don't laugh.) look out for yourself and the other guy.
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Old 02-18-11, 01:18 AM   #818
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I prefer riding in the street whenever practical, but in my experience sidewalk riding is sometimes the best option available. I believe that it requires more awareness than riding in the street among traffic.

In general, riding on the sidewalk exposes cyclists to more hazards than riding in the street. Cars tend to cross a sidewalk cyclist's path from more directions and lanes than they do a street cyclist. However, virtually all of the hazards associated with sidewalk riding are found in predictable locations, typically at intersections and driveways. This predictability reduces the uncertainty, and thus the risk. (Note that danger and risk are not synonymous. Risk is a function of the uncertainty associated with the danger.) Despite being more dangerous, the danger can be managed more easily.

When riding on the sidewalk, I find it is best to think of myself as a pedestrian. When I approach an n-way intersection, I look n ways before proceeding. That is, I look four ways before proceeding into a four way intersection, three ways before proceeding into a three way intersection, etc. Likewise, before proceeding across a driveway, I make sure no one is about to exit or enter that driveway.

Although it is a low priority, if all else is equal, I prefer the left sidewalk over the right sidewalk. By riding on the left sidewalk, I do not have to turn my head as far back to check for traffic coming from behind. It's faster and easier to check my "six" (o'clock) if I only actually have to look back over my shoulder to 4 or five o'clock. Because I have to look back often, the shallower angle required to look makes a difference.

It's one thing to know how to ride safely on the sidewalk. It's quite another to be able to make all of the additional visual checks required reflexively. In my opinion, it's an important skill for a well-rounded urban cyclist to have.
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Old 02-19-11, 07:46 AM   #819
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The accepted car cipher prohibits the operation of motor cars on sidewalks, but does acquiesce the operation of bicycles.4 Further, though, the UVC provides for bounded municipalities to adapt or prohibit sidewalk use by added than pedestrians.
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Old 03-01-11, 03:38 PM   #820
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I honestly can't believe there's a "debate" about this. Really? 824 posts in 33 pages? About sidewalks? Geez.
Its a big topic.
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Old 03-02-11, 02:44 PM   #821
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It's a mix for me. Here in Dayton, Ohio. I ride on the sidewalk in my neighbor hood, I live in the ghetto so no one drives properly and they all speed, lol. but once I reach downtown, I get in the street, the police will stop you if you ride on the sidewalk down there, which I see is a completely reasonable thing to do in that area. I would hate to be hit by someone on a bike while I was walking. I don't feel comfortable riding in the street down there, but whatever, gotta get used it.

Though IMO I would think sidewalk riding would equal to be more dangerous on a semi-populated path. The extra mental work would distract me, such as people exiting buildings, driveways, poles and signs the insane amount of blind corners, and people trying to take the bike from me. hey it's happened plenty of times, lol. but in the street i can just worry about cars.

thats just my 2 cents
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Old 03-04-11, 06:45 AM   #822
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Hi,
I study in Budapest University of Technology and Economics. I have a six-month project and i have to design a cycling infrastructure. So i would like to asset in the first round the opinion of the patterns, insights and something like that.
Thank you very much

The link
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Old 03-04-11, 08:33 AM   #823
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You gotta love this!

On duty, on the sidewalk, wrong way, one way street.
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Old 03-06-11, 09:20 AM   #824
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Damn...very large thread. But I'll add my humble 2 cents. I've seen cities that had ordinances against riding a bike on a sidewalk and I agree with that. Personally, I don't really care about the safety issue, but of course it is a concern if you plan to ride 10mph or faster. For me, who cycles as a primary form of transportation, I can't waste my time on a sidewalk; I don't even use bikepaths, because I can't go fast enough. Bikes do belong on the roads and I exercise that right everyday. Even when I'm not on a time schedule I stay away from bikepaths, just to exercise my right to the road. That's what scares me about bikepaths, if we get x-amount, will someone start to think that bikes don't belong on the roads; I know some think that now, but too many bikepaths will only strengthen their arguement.
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Old 03-06-11, 06:13 PM   #825
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[$0.02]
See, this is the problem with ideologues. Instead of dispassionately observing the data, and drawing conclusions from it, ideologues "put the cart before the horse" and advocate a given stance...then scramble to find data to support it.

Do I believe that bicycles, when operated on roadways, fare best when they adhere to the "rules of the road?" Yes.
Do I believe that novice cyclists (a) over-estimate the risks of "playing in traffic" and (b) under-estimate the risks of sidewalk riding? Yes.
Do I then avoid sidewalk riding completely, and use whatever road is available? Uh, no.

As a commuting cyclist, I use whatever route I determine to be "optimal." That might be the shortest, flattest, most aesteically appealing route...or the route with the least traffic exposure. Also, frequently I can cut distance off a trip by utilizing anything from MUP, to singletrack, to sidewalks, that go direct where cars are routed in a circuitous manner.

A large part of a bicycle's utility is that (with the possible exception of a dual-sport motorcycle) it can be operated over a greater percentage of the Earth's surface than any other mode of transportation. I would never willingly sacrifice so much of that utility to operate "just like a car."
[/$0.02]
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