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

gpburdell 04-15-15 08:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daihard (Post 17405110)
should also be mindful of the cyclists who may be riding on the sidewalk much faster than the typical pedestrians walk, thereby causing a situation like the one you were in. Honestly though, I believe that cyclists riding on the sidewalk should maintain the speed comparable to that of those who walk or jog

Yes, whether sidewalk bicycling is legal or not in that locale, a sidewalk cyclist has a responsibility to be aware of turning vehicles and his own lack of visibility. He should have allowed for the possibility of you (and any cars) turning across his path.

However, a runner can easily be doing 8-10mph so be aware of relatively fast sidewalk users, not just walkers.

Daniel4 04-24-15 11:51 AM

I have no choice but to ride 400m on the sidewalk out of a 4.5km commute. It’s the entrance to a park in the morning where if I were on the road, I would have to change lanes and stop traffic to make a left to go in because there’s no left turn lane. The speed limit is 60km/hr so motorists go 75km/hr before a speeding ticket is issued.

I’ve ridden past the police many times and have never been stopped. If I were, I guess I’d have my day in court and explain I didn’t want to do it but have no choice. If somebody were to tell me I should walk my bike when I’m on the sidewalk, I’d say if I wanted to walk, I wouldn’t be bicycle commuting.

About safety? Yes there a obstacles. Not poles or signs but in the winter chunks of snow and ice if it gets ploughed. In my evening commute, I ride on the street to go the opposite direction. That’s when I notice how much better the snow clearing is for traffic than for sidewalks.

jimrich 04-29-15 06:14 PM

[QUOTE=KrisPistofferson;1080595]you have to follow pedestrian rules,
... I have never seen a cyclist following pedestrian rules around here!

making your travel time longer, pedestrians won't think to look out for you,
... I ordinarily do NOT expect a bike to be traveling on the sidewalk so, while I will look around for other things, I rarely "watch out for" fast moving bikes - especially when the cyclist SILENT comes up behind me and makes no effort to let me know he's there or what his intentions are! Wouldn't common sense tell a cyclist to ALERT a pedestrian that a bike is right behind the ped? Cyclists act like they have some god-given right to use a sidewalk anyway they wish and they don't need to bow to the needs of a damned pedestrian! I'm OK with polite, sensible cyclists on the sidewalk (who don't even know the sidewalk codes) but I deeply resent stupid, careless and threatening cyclists on the sidewalk with me.


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.
... or just don't GIVE A DAMN!

jimrich 04-29-15 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catatonic (Post 1080776)
basically it boils down to rideaccordng to the path you are on, and what you feel is safe on a sidewalk doesn't matter...it's whats safe to the people walking it that matters.

And I see cyclists who just don't give a damn about a ped's safety and will act very belligerent and threatening if a ped dares to suggest that their bike is a danger on the sidewalk. There are remedies to deal with ignorant and careless motorists but no remedies at all for dealing with ill-tempered, ignorant cyclists unless you are willing to start throwing punches to defend your self!

jimrich 04-29-15 06:28 PM

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.

LOL, not the "adults" I see on the sidewalk who just don't give damn about laws, safety, common sense or anything else so long as they can roar down the sidewalk unopposed by anyone. They get away with it because there is NO ENFORCEMENT of existing laws and rules and not many peds have the power or authority to confront these cycle bullies!

Daniel4 04-30-15 07:52 AM

I can't speak for others but in my case there's only one reason I need to use this 400m of sidewalk - motorists. If it weren't for motorists who disrespect each other, the law and others, I would be entering the park via the road or commuting all the way on that stretch of road I really want to take.

I wouldn't doubt that sidewalk cyclists are on the street because of ignorant, careless motorists who disregard the law. Unfortunately, most are licensed and had passed their tests. And the high cost of insurance hasn’t improved their driving habits. Wouldn't you like to see all motorists become more responsible under the law?

SlowAndSlower 04-30-15 09:22 AM

I feel far more safer in the street/road then on a sidewalk or MUP in urban areas. When I do use the sidewalk or MUP its because of bad engineering and the lack of bicycling consideration in traffic design.

I ride and drive the same streets so I have the perspective of driver and bicyclist. Drivers drive me nuts! Bicyclist drive me nuts! Walkers drive me nuts! Runners drive me nuts! There seems to be the general lack of consideration and sharing among all. We all seem to be too much into our selves.

molten 05-24-15 10:15 AM

How much "sidewalk" be in Tennessee or Iowa, vs. a heavy-duty state like California ---- to put up with.
Anyone knows where the loser Cyclists face.

Onuris 05-29-15 04:04 PM

99% of the time I'm riding on the road, we are in a fairly rural area, lots of nice well paved back roads. There is this stretch of roadway that goes into the nearest major town, which is four lanes and has very heavy traffic. There are a lot of major businesses leading up to and along this road, Wal Mart, Meijers, restaurants, strip malls, etc. The traffic on this road is horrendous, people are constantly speeding, fighting for lane position, driving like psychopaths. On my motorcycle I usually use one of the backroads that run parallel to the major road to get most of the way to the businesses there. Riding a bike on this road would be near suicide. Fortunately there is a wide, very smooth stretch of sidewalk that runs about 10 miles up to and through this commercial section on both sides. There is very rarely any foot traffic on it at all, so we ride our bikes on it often. There is one section on the return route that has a stretch of houses, and often small kids are on their bikes or playing on the sidewalk there. We go slow through that section, and the kids always move out of the way for us. So there are areas and situations where using a sidewalk would be safer and preferable to riding on the road.

baron von trail 05-31-15 10:02 AM

Sidewalk riding is legal in Ohio, but I rarely use them. There is a one-mole stretch on my commute, however, near where my work industrial park ends and the bike trail begins, on which I ride the sidewalk. It's the safest option, IMO.

molten 05-31-15 12:37 PM

Noone here gave My Theory about this reverse problem; >At Least< where I have cycled.
Joggers in the Bike-Lane.
Rollerbladers in the bike-lane.
As roller-bladers (along with joggers belong on the sidewalk. Roller-bladers/joggers are classified as pedestrians.
Cities with triathalons won't enforce such laws, because of $pecial interests.

avidone1 07-09-15 03:59 PM

I prefer to ride in the roads but there are some roads where I definitely feel safer on the sidewalk.
I do admit however that sidewalk riding can be dangerous. specifically cars backing out of driveways and cars coming out of side roads onto a main road.
they typically will blow right past the sidewalk and stop at the intersection at a point that gives them greatest visibility.
I sometimes ride the sidewalks despite these hazards because the speeds cars travel on some roads is so fast that an "accident" is sudden death.
And fuggedaboudit when a big truck blows by. I'm a pancake waiting for the griddle.

TheManShow 07-09-15 04:13 PM

When I was a kid spending the summer on long island it was fun to bicycle the board walk. It was also ileagle to do so. The cops use to get fustrated when they told kids to hault, because they want to write them a summons. Most of the kids knew most of the cops could not run you down on foot, so we just turned, and rode off.

But honestly I see zero reason today where I live to ride on a sidewalk. Our roads are very wide, very clean, and honestly the sidewalks are for people on foot, in wheel chairs, and their grandkids visiting the old folks.

JoeyBike 07-12-15 01:07 PM

I find riding on sidewalks to be unnecessary most of the time, and tedious as Hell in areas where I would want to do it. In the street I am in the flow of traffic and vehicles entering from side streets, driveways, mall entrances, service stations, fast food drive-thru exits are not in my way as they wait to enter the road. On the sidewalk, all of the above would be BLOCKING the sidewalk.

I live near a suburb where nobody walks. Sidewalks are totally vacant there and in really good condition. It seems silly in that case to not use them when it makes sense and I am in no big rush. There are special dangers to look for - like cars cutting across my path as they overtake me and turn into driveways or side streets. I have a device on my helmet visor called a MIRROR that helps me handle that challenge nicely.

In short, if sidewalks are available, pedestrians are not/never using them, and you understand the extra dangers and hazards, why not use the sidewalks? Who does it hurt?

youngbull 07-21-15 11:34 AM

youre supposed to ride your bike on the street where i live

kickstart 09-02-15 05:27 PM

95%+ of the sidewalk riding I do is up a mile long, 15% grade on a 4 lane arterial. In the am going down the hill I use of the lane, but in the pm I'm simply not willing to ride at 4 mph on a congested 40 mph road.
In all the years I've lived in the area, I've never seen a bike use the lane to go up the hill, most take the bus or use other routes.

Jim from Boston 09-03-15 05:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeyBike (Post 17973245)
I find riding on sidewalks to be unnecessary most of the time, and tedious as Hell in areas where I would want to do it. In the street I am in the flow of traffic and vehicles entering from side streets, driveways, mall entrances, service stations, fast food drive-thru exits are not in my way as they wait to enter the road. On the sidewalk, all of the above would be BLOCKING the sidewalk.

I live near a suburb where nobody walks. Sidewalks are totally vacant there and in really good condition. It seems silly in that case to not use them when it makes sense and I am in no big rush. There are special dangers to look for - like cars cutting across my path as they overtake me and turn into driveways or side streets. I have a device on my helmet visor called a MIRROR that helps me handle that challenge nicely.

In short, if sidewalks are available, pedestrians are not/never using them, and you understand the extra dangers and hazards, why not use the sidewalks? Who does it hurt?

I only have read page 44 of this long thread, but was prompted to respond to @JoeyBike’s above recent post with my replies to a recent Living Car Free thread, ”Wheeled pedestrian...slow riding...trans-sport...utility riding...transport cycling...”

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 18102483)
…I rarely ride as a wheeled-pedestrian, almost always for convenience, like a shortcut on the sidewalk.

Actually, not to raise the usual controversy, IMO when I’m on the bike, I consider myself as an amphibian. Like the biologic species between reptile and fish, I exist as a cyclist and wheeled pedestrian. I obey traffic laws, and respect fellow road-users, but as noted above, I may assume pedestrian privileges, like circumventing traffic by going on to the sidewalk, and even some ”bad” habits of pedestrians, not appropriate for mention on a car-free centered forum. :innocent:…

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 18105627)
...Last week I visited the family in Macomb County[Michigan]. IMO, that is some of the nastiest road riding I have ever encountered. The main roads, to get anywhere, are six lane concrete slabs with bumps about every 20 feet, and many cracks and potholes especially on the right, with no shoulders, and heavy, zooming traffic with little patience for (slow) cyclists. Sidewalks alongside are frequently discontinuous, and often non-existent.

Even as an experienced urban commuter, I will often flee to the sidewalks, little used by pedestrians out in suburbia. Some major roads though, like Schoenherr and Gratiot do have continuous sidewalks for long distances. I have developed a technique for riding under such circumstances I call ”bolus riding.” (Bolus = “a small rounded mass of a substance, especially of chewed food at the moment of swallowing”; think of swallowed food as it passes down the esophagus.)

Since the flow of traffic is coordinated by traffic signals, traffic usually flows as a bolus. So using my rearview MIRROR, when I see a bolus of cars behind me, I go onto a driveway or intersecting street (all with sidewalk curb cuts) and on to the sidewalk. After the bolus passes as seen in the MIRROR. I go back onto the street where I can ride much faster, until the next bolus of cars arrives. I estimate that more than one-half of the distance can be ridden comfortably on these otherwise hazardous roads...

I used to feel resentful that I was self-relegated off to the sidewalks, but now I accept it as the way it is. I’m a visitor, and must accommodate. To further the evolutionary analogy I am a small furry mammal (cyclist), whose survival depends on avoiding being trampled by the dinosaurs (autos), whose evolutionary pathway may eventually lead to much less ferocious lizards…



AlmostTrick 09-03-15 07:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 18133839)
I used to feel resentful that I was self-relegated off to the sidewalks, but now I accept it as the way it is. I’m a visitor, and must accommodate. To further the evolutionary analogy I am a small furry mammal (cyclist), whose survival depends on avoiding being trampled by the dinosaurs (autos), whose evolutionary pathway may eventually lead to much less ferocious lizards…

Why do you automatically assume the autos will trample you if you don't exit to the sidewalk? Seems an irrational fear in my experience, and not backed with any real world evidence.

I suppose there is likely a place I might decide to use a sidewalk in place of the road, but I have yet to find it. I'd feel like a chump riding the few sidewalks on my commutes. And I'd have to go MUCH slower. No thanks!

kickstart 09-03-15 08:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick (Post 18134218)
Why do you automatically assume the autos will trample you if you don't exit to the sidewalk? Seems an irrational fear in my experience, and not backed with any real world evidence.

I suppose there is likely a place I might decide to use a sidewalk in place of the road, but I have yet to find it. I'd feel like a chump riding the few sidewalks on my commutes. And I'd have to go MUCH slower. No thanks!

The Seattle metropolitan area is renown for its bike friendliness, but my commute includes a stretch of road that is substantially bike unfriendly.....location, location, location.

AlmostTrick 09-03-15 08:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kickstart (Post 18134326)
The Seattle metropolitan area is renown for its bike friendliness, but my commute includes a stretch of road that is substantially bike unfriendly.....location, location, location.

I hear ya, and that's why I said there may be a situation where I might choose a sidewalk... like on your 4 mph up a hill example. Even so, I believe this choice comes down more to rider comfort, and motorist convenience, than it does safety. And that's ok!

kickstart 09-03-15 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick (Post 18134366)
I hear ya, and that's why I said there may be a situation where I might choose a sidewalk... like on your 4 mph up a hill example. Even so, I believe this choice comes down more to rider comfort, and motorist convenience, than it does safety. And that's ok!

That hill is within a two mile gap in the bike lane, with a concentration of low income housing and retail. Its always a coin toss if I will use the sidewalk or lane for the half mile before and after the hill.
The skill and respect of drivers in the area are far worse than average, 95% of all incidents and hostile drivers I encounter are within those two miles.

As someone who primarily rides VC, there's no doubt in my mind safety is the primarily consideration when I use the sidewalk.

Jim from Boston 09-03-15 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 18133839)
I used to feel resentful that I was self-relegated off to the sidewalks, but now I accept it as the way it is. I’m a visitor, and must accommodate….

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick (Post 18134218)
Why do you automatically assume the autos will trample you if you don't exit to the sidewalk? Seems an irrational fear in my experience, and not backed with any real world evidence.

I suppose there is likely a place I might decide to use a sidewalk in place of the road, but I have yet to find it. I'd feel like a chump riding the few sidewalks on my commutes. And I'd have to go MUCH slower. No thanks!


Actually I thought I made the hazards of cycling the major roads where I visit in Michigan, pretty clear:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 18133839)
...Last week I visited the family in Macomb County [Michigan]. IMO, that is some of the nastiest road riding I have ever encountered. The main roads, to get anywhere, are six lane concrete slabs with bumps about every 20 feet, and many cracks and potholes especially on the right, with no shoulders, and heavy, zooming traffic with little patience for (slow) cyclists

…and who ya calling a chump? ”Discretion is the better part of valor”, and I have a reputation for cycling valor.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stun (Post 17451807)
…The best advice often comes from cyclists that live the closest to you …The exception here would also be Jim from Boston--anyone that can successfully commute around Boston has my full respect and probably knows how to deal with about every intersection imaginable!

BTW, Michigan is a great cycling state, but like so many major metropolises, the car-centric suburbs can be intimidating.

AlmostTrick 09-03-15 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 18135180)
…and who ya calling a chump?

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick (Post 18134218)
I'd feel like a chump riding the few sidewalks on my commutes.

Maybe myself?

You posted that you "used to feel resentful that I was self-relegated off to the sidewalks", so maybe it's somewhat the same thing I feel, in different words.

canklecat 09-05-15 08:37 PM

I've been riding only a week after a 30+ year I-hate-us from cycling, so my conditioning is pretty poor. For now I'm using sidewalks in some areas where there's rarely any foot traffic, vehicle traffic is heavy, and shoulders are narrow. Especially uphill, where a kid on a Big Wheel could outrun me.

As my conditioning improves I'll probably use the sidewalk less on uphills. But in some areas it'll be safer to use the sidewalks, especially in areas where I might see one person every 15-30 minutes. Very few people walk or cycle in my area - it's mostly vehicles or buses - so there's very little risk to using sidewalks in some non-residential zones.


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