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Old 10-14-06, 02:13 PM   #1
N_C
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Riding on sidewalks.

Here is the ordinance for sidewalk in Sioux City. Proably typical of other communities.

Section 10.52.050 Riding on sidewalks.


1. A person shall not ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business zone or a school zone.
2. A person shall not ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk located on any bridge and shall not ride on the sidewalk approaches to bridges within a distance of twenty feet (20') from either end of the bridge sidewalk.
3. The Chief of Police is authorized to erect signs on any sidewalk or roadway prohibiting the riding of bicycles thereon by any person. Said restrictions, if any, are in addition to the absolute restrictions in 1 and 2 above.
4. Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian. (Ord. 88/T-6735)

I understand & agree with not riding in a business zone, but not a school zone. In a way I think this discourages people from riding to school, whether it is an elementary school or a college.

The bridge one does not make sense either, especially on the Floyd viaduct. It is part of the established bike trail route. There is a sign that says bicycle traffic yield to pedestrians on each end of the bridge. I think this overrides the ordinance.

3 & 4 are pretty self explanatory.

A largest part of the problem with riding on sidewalks is the severe lack of curb cuts or smoothe tranistions where the sidewalks cross intersect with roadways.
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Old 10-14-06, 02:22 PM   #2
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In Quebec bikes with wheels greater than 20" dia are prohibited from riding on sidewalks. However the enforcement is the same as for riding bikes through stop signs or red lights.
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Old 10-14-06, 10:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
A largest part of the problem with riding on sidewalks is the severe lack of curb cuts or smoothe tranistions where the sidewalks cross intersect with roadways.
There are much bigger problems with riding on sidewalks than the lack of curb cuts and smooth transitions.
The biggest problem is that cycling is generally unexpected on sidewalks, and so the safe speeds are down around 4-6 mph.

But there is an entire sticky thread on this topic.
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Old 10-14-06, 10:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by N_C
A largest part of the problem with riding on sidewalks is the severe lack of curb cuts or smoothe tranistions where the sidewalks cross intersect with roadways.
"A" or "The"? Either way, it's false. It's about the smallest problem with riding on sidewalks. Just about all Toronto sidewalks have curb cuts, and I still won't ride on them. There was a time when I thought that was the safest thing to do, but a sommersault over a car hood quickly convinced me otherwise.
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Old 10-15-06, 10:39 AM   #5
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Curb cuts are not for bicycles, they are for wheelchairs.
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Old 10-15-06, 10:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by yuhoo
Curb cuts are not for bicycles, they are for wheelchairs.
Actually they are for anyone who needs a smoothe transition from street to sidewalk. When ever a new sidewalk is built or one is replaced it now has to comply with ADA regulations. Communites are also adding the rubber pads with the bumps on them for those that are blind & use the long cane to know where they are going. When the cane hits the bumps they know they are at an intersection about to cross a street.
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Old 10-15-06, 04:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
.....1. A person shall not ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business zone or a school zone....
I understand & agree with not riding in a business zone, but not a school zone. In a way I think this discourages people from riding to school, whether it is an elementary school or a college....
Some places have an exception for young children, typically 12 and under, to ride on sidewalks at any time.
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Old 10-15-06, 05:04 PM   #8
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My trike has 18" wheels. Does that mean I can ride on the sidewalk?
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Old 10-21-06, 05:46 PM   #9
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I don't support riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. If I have to be on the sidewalk when out riding, I dismount and walk my bicycle until I can safely ride on the street again. When walking on the sidewalk, I have almost been hit by careless riders who either aren't paying attention or don't let me know they are coming. I understand that some riders ride on the sidewalk because they often get buzzed by motorists who don't realize that bicycles are vehicles, talk on the phone while they drive, or just don't care that they need to leave enough room for cyclists and ride on the sidewalk to avoid being run over.

Can they pay attention to pedestrians, too?
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Old 10-21-06, 08:10 PM   #10
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"A largest part of the problem with riding on sidewalks is the severe lack of curb cuts or smoothe tranistions where the sidewalks cross intersect with roadways."

That's not the reason for the rule. I personally think they should come up with routes that are acceptable and mark them, and then put up signs off the route explaining how to get on the route. There are some routes through rural areas where there is no one on the sidewalks, and the street is really a highway without a shoulder.
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Old 10-21-06, 08:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
I understand & agree with not riding in a business zone, but not a school zone. In a way I think this discourages people from riding to school, whether it is an elementary school or a college.
Think about when you're going to school, you'd probably be arriving and leaving around the same time as all the other kids right? Where are all these kids concentrated when they're coming to and leaving school?
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Old 10-22-06, 04:35 AM   #12
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Item #3 is worrisome for me. If it is codified as posted, then, the chief of police can arbitrarily restrict the rights of cyclers anywhere in his/her jurisdiction at any time. I wonder if there isn't some language in the law directing the chief to exercise his authority in that regard within reason.

As for riding on the sidewalk, I see nothing wrong with it as long as the rider operates his/her cycle in a manner appropriate for the conditions.

When I ride across the bridge that connects New Hope, PA with Lambertville, NJ, cyclists have no choice. Signs direct us not to ride on the roadway lanes of the bridge, but to use the pedestrian path. Further, we are directed not to ride, but to walk our bikes (same is true at the Washington's Crossing Bridge that is the next crossing south of New Hope).

I walk my bike across, then, immediate mount it on the sidewalk to get to the nearest curb where I can, again, rejoin vehicular traffic.

Sometimes there are no pedestrians in sight, but, on most occasions, the sidewalk is literally packed. I ride at the same speed as pedestrians, I never try to pass a pedestrian on that stretch (obviously), ride with at least one (most times both) feet unclipped, and have never had a pedestrian encounter of any sort except to say hello, good morning, etc.

This is done in full view of the ample number of police officers on patrol observing everything that moves.

There are a couple of intersections in my area where the lights seem never to change. Rather than wait for the light or run it, I simply take the sidewalk to the mid-block area where I can safely take the street again. In those areas, the beautifully maintained sidewalks are so deserted that I rarely encounter a living soul.

In my view, riding the sidewalk is not that much different than riding in general. Forgo arbitrary rules and exercise due caution and concern for your own safety and that of others around you and you will rarely have a problem. It works for me (and evidently works for the vast majority of law enforcement officers who justifiably overlook all but the most flagrant and dangerous infractions).

If you are riding on the sidewalk in a manner that surprises pedestrians who aren't "expecting" you, then, you are probably riding too fast for conditions.

If, when approaching a pedestrian, I observed that he/she was not aware of my approach for any reason (inattentiveness, old age, distraction by a pet or child) I would either stop until that pedestrian passed safely or I would dismount and walk my bike.

For me, it has to do with common sense, not some set of rules.

Those of us who practice courtesy and common sense probably don't need the rules/laws, and those who do not practice courtesy and common sense are probably unaware of the rules/laws.

Caruso
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