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

Schwinnhund 02-20-12 04:34 AM

The law isn't actively enforced against toddlers, for obvious reasons. It depends on the situation. They most likely would not say anything about a 3 year-old on a tricycle in front of his own house, but that same toddler ridding in front of a busy grocery store would be a problem. And there are parents who allow their children to do things like this, and don't even pay any attention half of the time. That's only one of the reasons why they have to have the laws.

Quote:

Originally Posted by john gault (Post 13845462)
I'm somewhat indifferent to laws/ordinances prohibiting bikes on the sidewalk, simply because I don't use them. However, in a perfect world I think it'd be great that no such laws existed, but I also realize why some localities feel the need to enact such laws, and that's because certain cyclists (or in many cases just people on bikes) can't/won't ride in such a manner as to be safe with respect to pedistrians --- I see it all the time around here, the bike is a vehicle, but people ride it with the mindset of a toy.:mad:

However, I can not understand a law that prohibits a toddler on a tricycle from riding on the sidewalk. But I know this can become a sticky question, because then it leads to "at what age" do we force bikers off sidewalks.


noisebeam 02-20-12 01:58 PM

Here is a letter to ed one doesn't see so often:

Ban bicyclists from our sidewalks


"With many inconsiderate cyclists dominating the sidewalks, it is dangerous to be a pedestrian these days."

Deathly Hallows 02-20-12 02:49 PM

Where I live, Saskatchewan, it is illegal to bicycle on the sidewalk unless the rider is under 12 years of age (this falls under the jurisdiction of the province's motor vehicle act). That being said, there are roadways on which it is pretty scary to ride anywhere but the sidewalk and some where it would be impossible to ride on the street. I've never heard of anyone being ticketed for riding on the sidewalk, although I have seen police officers tell people to walk their bikes while on downtown sidewalks.

work4bike 02-21-12 07:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noisebeam (Post 13876178)
Here is a letter to ed one doesn't see so often:

Ban bicyclists from our sidewalks


"With many inconsiderate cyclists dominating the sidewalks, it is dangerous to be a pedestrian these days."

I've seen them here "inconsiderate cyclists", but the thing is the vast majority of them are not "cyclists", they're fools on a bike. And I've seen them do some really stupid things, and they are the reason why Florida is the Death Capital of the U.S. WRT cyclists.

I ride on these roads every day, Florida is no different than any other state I've rode in.

WolfsBane 03-08-12 12:12 PM

Isn't it amazing how things get so twisted and convoluted???

The original paved roads in this country, were made for the use of bicycles and horse drawn carriages. Bicycles were not allowed to use any path earmarked for pedestrian use. When Ford's model Ts started to be cranked out of Detroit like bread from a bakery, they were absolutely hated by almost everyone that used the roads. They were large, loud, leaked fluids all over the place, and they were so heavy that they constantly damaged the pavement, forcing local government to have to spend money to repair them, (which is why state and local road taxes started for automobiles or as they were known during those times, the horseless buggys). After WWII, with the booming economy during the industrial revolution, every household could afford a modest automobile, and bicycles declined as a common mode of transportation. People just didn't see that many cyclists on the roads anymore since those times until very recently. Unfortunately, that has given a false perception to most car driver's these days, that bicycles have no business being on the road. That the roads are the sole and exclusive medium and domain for motored vehicles. And the lack of proper education for both motored vehicle operators and cyclists, not to mention the lack of proper state, city, and county ordenance and education has perpetuated this false impression.

More and more people, every single day, are taking to the roads on bicycles for all kind of reasons, not just for transportation or commuting alone. That... is NOT going to change. Setting up the proper infrastructure for cyclists use these days would be so easy AND so cost effective, that it borders on the ridiculous. Just a little widening of the road, and some paint to properly mark and put in place the proper road signs for bicycles. And I mean, the cost, would be so negligible as to be non existent. What would take the longest to execute, would be the proper education for BOTH motored vehicle operators and cyclists. Then, the states and local governments would then be able to properly incorporate into regulation the use of bicycles on public roads... something that is not taking place right now. Unfortunately, our various state and local governing bodies have a vested interest in keeping certain special groups happy and keeping the status quo. But again, the fact is that we will all see more and more bicycles on the road than ever before. And this fact can not simply be ignored or dismissed anymore. It needs to be addressed immediately for the safety of all parties involved.

rando 04-14-12 07:55 AM

when sidewalks are clear and next to an arterial, I will use them if it makes sense. it's legal here to, as long as you're going the directiion of adjoining traffic. still, I am extra carefull watching pullouts and pull-ins. I'm not breaking any land speed records.

dissident 04-15-12 11:13 AM

the problem with 'bike' paths along shoulders of a road is they are never kept clean, they are an afterthought around here filled with gravel from vehicles who drive on gravel roads then shed that gravel in town. I ride with traffic... part of the bike path I ride while in WI goes against the traffic... only for a half mile, but it's traffic going 50mph and I always thought that was odd, that they needed to complete the off road path and not have people driving against fast traffic.

I avoid the sidewalk almost completely. But I would use them if I had to ride on a major artery that's heavily congested. I just don't do that. Simple solution.

brianinc-ville 05-18-12 10:39 AM

OK, I'd like to get some reports of actual experiences -- not opinions. Here's the question:

What actually happens when cities make it legal to use bikes on sidewalks outside the central business district?

My city is considering a change to its ordinance. I am aware of most of the sides of the debate; I'm also aware that many cities (including Portland) have chosen to allow sidewalk cycling in some areas. I don't know how that choice has changed anything in practice (if at all). Can you fill me in?

PTStork53 06-30-12 06:01 PM

I agree completely... why would anyone want to ride their bike on a sidewalk?? Why even bother to get your bike out in the first place?

Zedoo 06-30-12 07:42 PM

For most of my life I rode sidewalks. I considered road cycling to be a more advanced level for people who could afford new bikes, helmets, lights, etc. Some of my favorite MUPs become sidewalks, so I considered them to be approximately the same thing. The differences now are my bent with 20" wheels and my sore back on sidewalk bumps, and I bought a helmet. I want a smoother ride, but in many areas both are bumpy.

rando 07-01-12 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PTStork53 (Post 14426055)
I agree completely... why would anyone want to ride their bike on a sidewalk?? Why even bother to get your bike out in the first place?

that you do not understand the utility of riding on a sidewalk where appropriate speaks volumes about your mind. open it up, you'll have more fun.

PTStork53 07-02-12 04:50 PM

Okay, whatever, but I'm not the one with bent rims and a sore back! Have fun and watch out for grandma and the little kids on the training wheels!

rando 07-11-12 08:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PTStork53 (Post 14433078)
Okay, whatever, but I'm not the one with bent rims and a sore back! Have fun and watch out for grandma and the little kids on the training wheels!

in different parts of the US, cities are different, sidewalks are different, conditions are different, and grandma is actually on the bus and the little kids with training wheels rarely venture out from their driveways. Sidewalks are deserted. it's just not that big of a hassle to use them.

PTStork53 07-16-12 06:27 PM

Okay, now I get it, what can I say I'm slow (avg. speed around 14.5 mph). I am fortuante enough to live in a very small town near open backcountry roads.
Happy trails and enjoy your bike, 'cause that's what's most important.

Apex Carver 07-27-12 09:06 AM

I use a basic rule when ( in the rare occasion ) that I do use the sidewalk. I ride at walking speed ( under 10km/h ). That's it. If I want to go faster, I will jump to the main roadway.

work4bike 07-29-12 06:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Apex Carver (Post 14534326)
I use a basic rule when ( in the rare occasion ) that I do use the sidewalk. I ride at walking speed ( under 10km/h ). That's it. If I want to go faster, I will jump to the main roadway.

Same here.

cycronin 08-04-12 05:43 AM

95-99% of the time, I think it's a better to ride on the roads. But I can't emphasize enough how stupid it is to dogmatically believe that 100% of the time, no matter what the specific scenario is, the road is better than the sidewalk. Smart living requires adjustments and improvisations, not slavish devotion to a set of rules, and smart cycling is no different.

Last night after my commute home, I went out with my car to do some shopping. The way back followed the same route as my commute... there's a area turning on to the last road that curves and is very narrow. There's room for one vehicle and not much else. It's also a steep climb. Rounding the curve I suddenly realized there was a cyclist ahead, slowly lugging up the climb. Being alert enough I slowed and waited for the road to widen enough for me to pass. By the time I saw the cyclist, I was already almost on top of him. When I'm commuting on the same stretch I take the sidewalk, every time. Over my entire 10.5 mile commute there's less than 1000 feet where I ride on sidewalks, including the stretch I just mentioned. If I insisted on taking the road during that stretch, it's almost a guarantee I'd be hit by a car eventually.

Padma 08-05-12 10:25 AM

I'm surprised so many people are against sidewalk cycling. In my area it is legal and I try to take the sidewalk whenever I can. I've rarely encountered even one pedestrian on my commute but there are plenty of adult cycling commuters taking the sidewalk. The only cyclists I see using the road are the pointy helmet spandex suit $5000 racing bike kind. Regular commuters always take the sidewalk.

PTStork53 08-06-12 04:22 AM

Oh I agree... common sense has got to prevail sometimes, but if it's safe to ride the road, I'm taking that route.

PTStork53 08-06-12 04:24 AM

Gotta do what's comfortable for you, I'm sticking to the road.

manapua_man 08-20-12 12:01 PM

Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is as long as its legal, and you're riding at speeds that are reasonable for the situation at hand. Some places over here have wide, barely used sidewalks while the roads they're next to are narrow, have sharp turns with almost no visibility and traffic moving at 50-60mph. No way in hell I am getting on the road in places like that. If the road isn't dangerous I'll use it, and if I jump on a sidewalk to get over to a store or something its really not that big a deal to slow down a little and pay attention to any foot traffic.

Stealthammer 08-20-12 04:39 PM

Last Saturday Apache and I grabbed the Opie and rode into Zionsville to checkout the Farmer's Market, and I actually broke one of my cardinal rules and rode the last three miles on a sidewalk because there is just no margin available, and because of the heavy traffic we were causing many of the drivers a great deal of trouble as they had to pass us one car at a time even though they were coming from both directions. I believe that is the first time I rode on a "sidewalk" in four years and maybe even ten years or more, although in the area that I live many of the sidewalks are being constructed as MUPs, and I do use those occasionally when there are no other users on the trail.

I will however start using that one stretch of sidewalk on weekends to avoid being a nuisance to the drivers, so I guess after nearly 20 years of saying that bicycles don't belong on sidewalks, I have re-considered my opinion and will now state that there may very well be times when a bicycle should opt for using the side walk to avoid being a nuisance to the drivers using very narrow roads.

ryanmm 08-20-12 08:29 PM

I'm very selective about riding sidewalks, along my usual routes there's only one area where I ever ride them. It's suburban-bordering-rural, a high speed road, with no pedestrians and next to no curb cuts. Drivers aren't used to and aren't looking for cyclists either. But there are nice, wide sidewalks that are in good condition. If I ever do come across a pedestrian around there I will dismount and walk the bike...I actually walk more than I ride and am annoyed when cyclists don't do so (which is pretty much all the time).

northernlights 09-18-12 07:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nick burns (Post 1082581)
Are there really that many people riding regularly on the sidewalk instead of the road? I've been riding an awfully long time & the only people I see on the sidewalk are kids.
I think most adults realize that sidewalks were made for pedestians not bicyclists.

and the street was made for cars, not bicycles.

of the dozens of bicycle related deaths I have read about thru the years, in virtually all cases the cyclist who died or was severely maimed was riding on the street in traffic. how come I never hear about cyclists who get killed while riding on the sidewalk?

Dodgensince74 09-18-12 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by northernlights (Post 14744972)
and the street was made for cars, not bicycles.

of the dozens of bicycle related deaths I have read about thru the years, in virtually all cases the cyclist who died or was severely maimed was riding on the street in traffic. how come I never hear about cyclists who get killed while riding on the sidewalk?

That may be because majority of the time while riding on a sidewalk the cyclist are doing the hitting and not getting hit, how often do you hear of auto driver being killed or injured when they hit a cyclist?


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