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Old 03-06-11, 06:56 PM   #826
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If there's a sign that says "bicycles use sidewalk", do it. If you're coming off a bike path and want to get to an intersection to cross the road more safely, do it. Most other cases, wtf are you doing on it?
/end thread?
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Old 03-28-11, 08:02 PM   #827
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If there's a sign that says "bicycles use sidewalk", do it. If you're coming off a bike path and want to get to an intersection to cross the road more safely, do it. Most other cases, wtf are you doing on it?
/end thread?
Riding half a block to the B-Cycle station so I can drop it off into a kiosk.

Riding half a block to find a rack to lock my bicycle to.
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Old 03-29-11, 08:46 AM   #828
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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]
I'm with you. sometimes the sidewalk is fine. sometimes it's not. whether or not to use it depends on local laws, conditions and customs. I WILL add that one of my worst accidents was when I was riding too fast for conditions, the wrong way (against adjoining traffic) on the sidewalk and a truck pulled upright in front of me as I was about to enter the crosswalk (he was looking left for a gap in traffic)...I couldn't stop in time, and slammed right into him. so........... don't do THAT.
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Old 04-04-11, 07:53 AM   #829
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I think this is a great discussion (but I posted thinking I was reading the last post, lol-sorry). Regarding what to do I think it probably has to do with the context where you ride. If you're in urban areas where traffic probably rarely reaches 35 mph then ride on the street (speed differences between vehicles is an important safety consideration), also considering there are many more pedestrians on the sidewalk making bike riding there problematic in urban areas (especially with 2 year olds learning how to walk and exploring their new world!). If you're in a rural area where the road is made for cars traveling at 50 mph, that is a 'narrow' road just wide enough for cars, there are few curb cuts and there is a perfectly good and empty sidewalk, then by all means stay safe and ride on the sidewalk. Certainly there are situations in between these two as well and the rider must use their judgement as to what's the most reasonable safe place to be.

What really needs to happen is that all roads need to be designed to allow extra room for bicycles, that is not have their width determined by cars or trucks alone as was the attitude in the past. This new attitude should be applied to all roads everywhere imo, although that is financially problematic considering some rural roads don't even get asphalt. This reflects nisebeam's comment about Wide Outer Lane (WOL) which I've seen being incorporated into a small town I grew up in, so change is happening but certainly not fast enough. Make sure your local government knows of the issue so that all roads become wider.

Last edited by SimpleTwig; 04-04-11 at 07:54 AM. Reason: posted from page 11 not realizing there were more posts...
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Old 04-21-11, 05:17 PM   #830
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There is definitely a level of riding competency that reduces a rider's fear enough to permit street riding. I think that education is the key here.
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Old 04-23-11, 11:55 AM   #831
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Riding half a block to the B-Cycle station so I can drop it off into a kiosk.

Riding half a block to find a rack to lock my bicycle to.
Ever heard of walking?
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Old 04-23-11, 02:47 PM   #832
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Ever heard of walking?
Why when it is legal in Denver to ride a bike at a speed no greater than 6mph on a sidewalk for less than a block for the purposes of parking and I'm on a bike? Why walk at 5mph while pushing a bike instead of riding at 5 mph?
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Old 04-23-11, 03:00 PM   #833
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Why when it is legal in Denver to ride a bike at a speed no greater than 6mph on a sidewalk for less than a block for the purposes of parking and I'm on a bike? Why walk at 5mph while pushing a bike instead of riding at 5 mph?
Because it is a side, wait for it, "walk"! Keyword is "WALK". Side walks are for walking. I understand it is legal but that doesn't justify it. I can't tell you how many times I have seen bikers
hop on the walk and usually doing what you are and almost hit someone. Just because the cyclist is experienced has nothing to do with what other people may decide to do that could
ultimately result in a collision. Of course, this could have been prevented. Maybe your walks in Denver aren't as busy as ours in Chicago but it is just asking for trouble if you ask me. Side
walks are for walking and for children learning to ride a bike. In Chicago it is illegal to ride on side walks unless you are 12 years of age or older and I am in support of this way of thinking.
Would it kill you to walk a half a block, or less, to find a suitable place to lock-up? Now, put your big boy pants on and keep you bike off the walk!

Oh, on a side note, it scares the crap out of people as well!

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Old 04-23-11, 04:59 PM   #834
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Maybe cyclists in Chicago need to learn to slow down on sidewalks.

My big boy pants aren't big enough for walking. They're only big enough for cycling.
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Old 04-23-11, 07:54 PM   #835
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Maybe cyclists in Chicago need to learn to slow down on sidewalks.

My big boy pants aren't big enough for walking. They're only big enough for cycling.
No, they need to stay off the side walks just like you! Very few actually use the side walks here, for good reason you cannot understand obviously.
But, every time I do see someone riding on the walks, something "almost" always happens that would have been preventable. About the pants,
well, you're on your own I guess! Whatever fits! I still believe you need to keep your butt off the side walks!
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Old 04-24-11, 06:40 AM   #836
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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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[$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]
bcubed's post probably, at least in part, a response to mine, so I'll respond. Just because I support an ordinance against bikes on sidewalks does not make me an ideologue. My opinion is based on observation. I would rather there not be such an ordinance, but the way some people operate bikes, it's a sad, but necessary measure in some places, not all.

A twist in this issue would be setting speed limits on MUPs/bikelanes. I would normally be against that idea, but based on my observation in some places it's probably a good idea. Especially of what I've seen in the Washington D.C. area MUPs; that's why I just stay away from those things. So whether or not they set a speed limit doesn't really matter to me, but if they were I can see the logic.

BTW, notice I use the term ordinance vs. law, as in state law. This should be a local consideration, not needed for the state to get involved...let alone the feds.
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Old 04-24-11, 09:33 AM   #837
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No, they need to stay off the side walks just like you! Very few actually use the side walks here, for good reason you cannot understand obviously.
But, every time I do see someone riding on the walks, something "almost" always happens that would have been preventable. About the pants,
well, you're on your own I guess! Whatever fits! I still believe you need to keep your butt off the side walks!
It is so unfortunate that it is such a black and white issue for you.
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Old 04-24-11, 10:13 AM   #838
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It is so unfortunate that it is such a black and white issue for you.
I hope this discussion hasn't made you look at me as some guy you couldn't have a discussion with or be friends with. Because, I am a nice guy but I will state my opinion whenever I want and feel the need to and this is no different of a situation. We disagree on the subject and that's fine. I have stated my opinion, you have stated yours, and we disagree. Let's leave it at that because we will not find a common ground on this issue. Let's just be friends, have a drink, and go for a fun and safe bike ride
afterwards! Deal? Have a great day and be safe.

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Old 04-26-11, 07:20 PM   #839
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I almost always ride on the side walk when going to and coming home from school. I see no problem with it. Never had any problems so why should I not use them?
I feel safe on sidewalks when going at low speeds, but whenever I go fast(over 10mph) I get on the road.
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Old 04-29-11, 04:47 AM   #840
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I almost always ride on the side walk when going to and coming home from school. I see no problem with it. Never had any problems so why should I not use them?
The fact that you've had no problems does not mean you won't have problems. You're confusing personal experience with statistical risk. You shouldn't ride on the sidewalk because it increases your risk by nearly a factor of two. Why do that - unless you like being injured or killed?

There are simple things we can do to reduce risk - the biggest one is to ride in the roadway. While you have the ability to ride as dangerously as you like, I think it's inconsiderate to risk your health needlessly. Do what you want, but don't try to pretend that the fact that you've avoided injury so far means there is no elevated risk in what you're doing.
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Old 04-29-11, 04:56 AM   #841
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As for me, I live in Montgomery County, MD, where it is legal to ride on the sidewalk. However I still don't do it, because it's dangerous and I'd be an inconsiderate fool to risk my life and that of pedestrians simply because the law here isn't smart enough to figure out that riding a machine that weighs nearly 300lbs (including rider, trail-a-bike, daughter) and goes up to 30mph is potentially deadly.

I'd add that sidewalk riding is the mark of a fool, but I might be wrong - after all, it could simply be ignorance, incompetence or plain stubbornness. All admirable qualities.

And those who defend their sidewalk-riding by saying that it's okay because they act as pedestrians need to realize that pedestrians actually get hit at about the same rate as sidewalk cyclists. The point is not that sidewalk riding is unsafe - it's that using the sidewalk at all is inherently unsafe. Walking on the sidewalk is the single most dangerous routine activity we do - according to NHTSA crash statistics it's seven times more deadly than driving a car.

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Old 04-29-11, 08:53 AM   #842
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In my experience, sidewalk riding is no more dangerous than any other riding as long as you pay attention to what's around you and don't do anything stupid. these things can be a challenge to some, and those folks should stay on the roads/bike paths.
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Old 04-29-11, 09:36 AM   #843
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You shouldn't ride on the sidewalk because it increases your risk by nearly a factor of two.
I think an all-encompassing risk factor is too vague.
For instance on my commute, 78th street's sidewalk is probably about 5% safer than the bike lane. HWY 99's sidewalk is probably about 1000% MORE DANGEROUS than the bike lane. Links to google maps below.

78th Street: nary a driveway or cross street in sight. Peds are quite rare as well. Debris field is far less dense and it drains better than the bike lane. Great sidewalk!

HWY 99 (the sidewalk is mostly driveway crossings! I frequently actually ride outside the bike lane since the right travel lane is so wide)
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Old 04-29-11, 10:26 AM   #844
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...after all, it could simply be ignorance, incompetence or plain stubbornness. All admirable qualities.
[SNIP]
The point is not that sidewalk riding is unsafe - it's that using the sidewalk at all is inherently unsafe. Walking on the sidewalk is the single most dangerous routine activity we do - according to NHTSA crash statistics it's seven times more deadly than driving a car.
Since you mention ignorance, incompetence or plain stubbornness:
How did you manipulate NHTSA crash statistics to reach your conclusion that " using the sidewalk at all is inherently unsafe. Walking on the sidewalk is the single most dangerous routine activity we do" and that "it's seven times more deadly than driving a car."

Is your statistical analysis method the same one that can reach the conclusion that going to the hospital is the worst thing to do if you are sick since statistics indicate that so many people die there?
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Old 04-29-11, 12:52 PM   #845
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I think an all-encompassing risk factor is too vague.
For instance on my commute, 78th street's sidewalk is probably about 5% safer than the bike lane. HWY 99's sidewalk is probably about 1000% MORE DANGEROUS than the bike lane...
In general, I don't think there's all that much difference, safety-wise, between cycling on the average sidewalk and cycling on the average bike lane. Both put you out of the travel lane. In general, the sidewalk might be a bit more dangerous, since you're that much less visible to other road users.
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Old 04-29-11, 12:53 PM   #846
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Since you mention ignorance, incompetence or plain stubbornness:
How did you manipulate NHTSA crash statistics...
LOL. How did you manipulate them to help you suggest that I'm ignorant, incompetent or stubborn?
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Old 04-29-11, 02:46 PM   #847
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In general, I don't think there's all that much difference, safety-wise, between cycling on the average sidewalk and cycling on the average bike lane. Both put you out of the travel lane. In general, the sidewalk might be a bit more dangerous, since you're that much less visible to other road users.
Okie Dokie. You can ride in one of the non-bike lanes down 78th Street all you want. It would likely be one of the least pleasant cycling jaunts of your life. Sidewalk's where it's at from 16th Ave to St. Johns.
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Old 04-29-11, 02:49 PM   #848
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Okie Dokie. You can ride in one of the non-bike lanes down 78th Street all you want. It would likely be one of the least pleasant cycling jaunts of your life.
It's not necessary for a road to be pleasant. I'm not a tourist. Anyway, pleasant or not, the road is safest.

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Old 04-29-11, 03:01 PM   #849
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I reckon if I include the right most non-bike lanes, I'd rate the situations thusly (safest to least safe)

HWY 99: rightmost non-bike lane, bike lane, sidewalk
78th street: sidewalk, bike lane, rightmost non-bike lane.
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Old 04-29-11, 06:07 PM   #850
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LOL. How did you manipulate them to help you suggest that I'm ignorant, incompetent or stubborn?
Not a very good non-response. How 'bout a reference/basis for your preposterous conclusions that:
1. "Using the sidewalk at all is inherently unsafe."
2. "Walking on the sidewalk is the single most dangerous routine activity we do"
3. "It's [using/walking on the sidewalk] seven times more deadly than driving a car."

Relying on a vague phrase "according to NHTSA crash statistics" with no other refernce may convince the ignorant, incompetent or stubborn of the validity of your silly statements about the risk of walking or using a sidewalk, but no one else.
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