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  1. #1
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Sidewalk Riding (Photos)

    Some sidewalks are actually meant for bicycle riding. This is a sidewalk, but it is also part of a multi-use path. It's a pretty good place to ride, only not too fast, or you might run over people.




    Unfortunately, once you get past the multi-use path part, it turns into a regular sidewalk. Regular sidewalks are made for walking, not riding. Here's an example.




    In my area, I think sidewalks are required when you develope land. But that also means it is okay for vacant lots not to have sidewalks. So you may have a mile of sidewalk and then it ends and then restarts.




    The place where it ends and starts isn't always pretty.




    Sometimes it just doesn't make any sense. This is a crosswalk. You can see the sidewalk in the background aligned with the power poles, and there's a sidewalk on the overpass behind me. But right here by the crosswalk, there isn't any sidewalk.




    One of the problems with sidewalks is they like to jog them around obstacles. Which is okay if you notice in time. It wouldn't work so well on a road.





    Sometimes, though, they don't bother trying to jog them around an obstacle. It's just right there.




    (To be continued)
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  2. #2
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Streets sometimes have maintenance problems, but people complain if it gets too bad. But they don't always worry about the sidewalk condition. It can get really really bumpy and no one cares. Especially if you have clay soils, part of the sidewalk can go up and part goes down and you get a nice ledge effect. These sidewalks were intended to have smooth transitions from sidewalk to curb, but it doesn't always work out. Not good for bicycles, unicycles, or wheelchairs.



    Parts that ought to be smooth aren't anymore.


    In addition to the little ledges, you can also get some slots, but they are at least close to the curb.


    Sometimes they don't even try to make the smooth transitions at sidewalks. You can cross 30 driveways and side streets and everyone will have a roll-over transition, and then you come to one that doesn't.



    Sometimes, the sidewalk just gets blocked off by different stuff. Here's some bushes growing out over a sidewalk. And a nice bump in the way, and the whole sidewalk is narrow. The problem is, this road is also a terrible place to ride with heavy fast traffic. Sometimes, it's just better to find a different route.


    There are a very few places where maybe a regular sidewalk is a better place to ride. This might be one of them. There aren't any driveways or cross-streets for a while, so you can't get right-hooked. And traffic on the road is fast and fairly heavy. But even on this sidewalk, you'd have to take it slow so you didn't run into one of the problems above.


    (The End)
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  3. #3
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    There are several sidewalks like that around here, one section I ride there are three capped pipes sticking up out of the sidewalk by an inch, difficult to see and enough to wipe you out if you hit them wrong.

    A MUP nearby has 6x8 wood posts on each side at the intersections to block vehicles, not bad well thought out able to ride through without a problem. One intersection is real nasty though not because of traffic, but because they have three posts two in the normal spots, and one about 15 feet ahead of them and just to right of center by about a foot, it's only about 15" tall, and the intersection has a particularly bright and badly placed light that puts that one in shadow and blinds you, so if you're riding in a normal position at night and you don't know it's there it will get you. My Gitane has a shorter wheelbase now because of it, hit it dead on at 17-18 mph and creased the top and down tubes, somehow didn't bend the fork though.

    I know sidewalk riding is frowned on by many, but around here there are miles of nice wide unused sidewalks, many designated as bike trails. And it's far more pleasant to ride some of them than to argue with some of the drivers on those roads.

    Ken.

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    so are the annoying and useless little flash movie ads going to become a standard feature when posting here?

    Posted the above and was rewarded with a flash ad for 'show your favorite spaces', next time was something from chrysler? anyone else have that?

    If so, any other bike forums that are happy to have the normal static ads on the page without intermediate ad pages?

    Ken.

  5. #5
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    Side walk maintenance is a valid concern. As you say, smaller cyclist, wheelchairs, roller bladers, even pedestrians, etc would be concerned with these conditions. The question is ... which one of these do you fall into. Even if you don't ... it's an honorable effort to fight for other peoples causes.

    However, if you are an adult cyclist (16+) and are aware of the vehicle traffic codes, then you are spending way to much time worrying about the sidewalk condtions.

    All of your photos of sidewalks also showed perfectly good roadways. Some photos don't even have vehicles in the shot. 4 lanes and no automobiles???

    I don't know if you posted just to show how terrible sidewalk conditions are in your area or by showing the conditions, you now have an excuse NOT to ride your bike as much???
    If it's the former then fine ... but if it's the latter then shame on you ... learn to ride in the roadway.

  6. #6
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    No, it's intended as a "why not to ride on the sidewalk" photo essay.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    As I recall, a boy was killed when he hit one of these not too long ago. I suppose the city's liability would depend on whether sidewalk riding is legal or not, though.

  8. #8
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
    As I recall, a boy was killed when he hit one of these not too long ago. I suppose the city's liability would depend on whether sidewalk riding is legal or not, though.
    I've heard that motorists run into them too every now and then.

    Ever hear of a motorist winning a lawsuit for a one car accident involving hitting a standing pole or tree, no matter where it was located?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kendall View Post
    so are the annoying and useless little flash movie ads going to become a standard feature when posting here?

    Posted the above and was rewarded with a flash ad for 'show your favorite spaces', next time was something from chrysler? anyone else have that?

    If so, any other bike forums that are happy to have the normal static ads on the page without intermediate ad pages?

    Ken.
    Get one of those nice red stars. No more ads. And you helped keep the forums running.

    -D

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    I've heard that motorists run into them too every now and then.

    Ever hear of a motorist winning a lawsuit for a one car accident involving hitting a standing pole or tree, no matter where it was located?
    Yea, I heard the guy one and the pole has a bench warrant for failure to appear in court.

    -D

  11. #11
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    stephen,

    what is dallas doing to encourage riders to leave the sidewalks and ride in the road? Are you riding on the sidewalks rather than the roads in those photos, and why?

    im suprised you'd notice the crappy sidewalk facilties unless you are actually riding them. that first photo of the MUP along the raised road makes sense IMO.

    There's a lot of transportational biking value to MUPs, sidewalks not so much.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    I've heard that motorists run into them too every now and then.

    Ever hear of a motorist winning a lawsuit for a one car accident involving hitting a standing pole or tree, no matter where it was located?
    Put a telephone pole in he middle of a traffic lane and you'll hear of plenty of wins.

  13. #13
    Cat 4 J.Lockdown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
    Put a telephone pole in he middle of a traffic lane and you'll hear of plenty of wins.
    Ha.
    Blog:http://e-janis.com
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  14. #14
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    The OP is able to ride those sidewalks because he uses and MTB. There is no way you can ride them on a ride bike which is why he finds riding on sidewalks to be OK.

  15. #15
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Normally, I ride on the streets or the multi-use path. In these shots, I was riding on or parked on the sidewalk specifically to make the pictures.

    Where I really started noticing the condition was when I rode my 20" unicycle home from church one time. On the side streets, I can ride in the streets okay, but I rode down a couple of these sidewalks on it and had several unplanned dismounts as a result. I've walked these sidewalks and MUP quite a few times as well.

    You can ride these sidewalks on any bike, but you're going to wind up riding 6-8 miles an hour and stopping to lift the bike over a few choice obstacles if you can't bunny hop it, so it's not a good plan. That's my cruiser bike, not a mountain bike, and I don't ride over curbs and ledges with it.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by derath View Post
    Get one of those nice red stars. No more ads. And you helped keep the forums running.

    -D
    I don't mind ads for the most part, often find an ad that has something I'm interested in. Just that when I posted that last response I was bounced to a page with just a flash ad on it nothing else. Never happened before and I found it annoying to say the least.

    whether advertising or subscription supported, a board is only worth what the users put into it.
    Don't spend enough time here to subscribe, just counted 23 ads on this page, don't need a seperate one.

    Ken.

  17. #17
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    In my home state sidewalk riding will get you arrested.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living









    ^ Since June 16, 2011

  18. #18
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
    Put a telephone pole in he middle of a traffic lane and you'll hear of plenty of wins.

    I take it you have never been to India? they have huge trees sticking out the middle of paved lanes--- in the heart of the city--- in Chennai.

  19. #19
    Senior Member sumguy's Avatar
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    nice weather you have there we might get frost tonight. you forgot irrigation sprinklers.

    I was coming off a dirt path along a vacant lot and hit one of these at speed. the edge was covered by tall grass so I didn't see it. crazy part is after the path there were 2 sections before the sidewalk ended again at the street.

  20. #20
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Some sidewalks are actually meant for bicycle riding.
    some, but not most. unless you're 6 years old.
    Last edited by botto; 05-27-08 at 07:32 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member aMull's Avatar
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    Sidewalks are just horrible to ride on.

  22. #22
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Thanks, Stephen.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  23. #23
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    do you think dallas is doing an adequate job planning for bikes in your city, stephen? Dallas has one of the lowest rider shares in the US. i bet its not the heat.

  24. #24
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    The Dallas area is slowly working on it. For example, that Mixed Use Path up there is actually a good route for moderate speed travel. It's supposed to be extended in both ways eventually and will then actually be a decent route to go some places- I can already ride to Walmart mainly on that path. They do have some marked bike routes that are pretty decent routes. I've been slowly exploring some of them. But it's hard to even get a good map of where the bike routes are.

    The biggest problems I see are just a lack of planning when building these roads in the first place. The three-lanes-with-no-shoulder with 50 mph traffic is pretty common, bicycles on those roads are uncommon, and so it's not a good situation. I don't know that it's a lot worse or better than other areas in the US. Using shoulders instead of curbs would help in a lot of cases. In the subdivisions, you tend to have side streets that are not through streets, which throws you onto the main roads at certain points. And at the major freeways and rivers, it's only the major streets that go through.

    Bicycling popularity for transportation here is a mix of factors. Heat, rain, heavy traffic, and urban sprawl are the main items, it seems to me.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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