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  1. #1
    Senior Member nostalgic's Avatar
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    Illegal to Ride on the Sidewalk?

    Is this true? Someone told me this with absolute certainty. I'm new to cycling, and I'd like to know the facts.

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    uke
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    Depends entirely on your local ordinances. Use the google.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

  3. #3
    Junior Member Plouc.Qc's Avatar
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    Here in Montreal , It's a ticket for sure , nothing expensive , but it's still a ticket.

  4. #4
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    What state and county/city are you located in?

    -Kurt

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    Senior Member Snowsurfer's Avatar
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    Yes, pretty much everywhere in North America.

    In my home country, it is illegal, but there is a loophole. If your tires are 24" or less in diameter, then it is LEGAL. This was meant to protect children.

    Folding bikes are a different story, but is part of the loophole.

  6. #6
    Senior Member EnigManiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowsurfer View Post
    Yes, pretty much everywhere in North America.

    In my home country, it is illegal, but there is a loophole. If your tires are 24" or less in diameter, then it is LEGAL. This was meant to protect children.

    Folding bikes are a different story, but is part of the loophole.
    Indeed, in Toronto at least, bicycles with rims larger than 24" are prohibited from riding on sidewalks. One can be ticketed even if their rim-size is below 24". If they fail to respect pedestrian traffic, they can be cited.

    To the OP: it is best to check your municipality bylaws. Keep in mind, many areas do not enforce the bylaw and fines can vary. But moreover, it is extremely dangerous to ride on sidewalks, legal concerns aside. Pedestrians step out unexpectedly, motorists exiting narrow alley-ways have little or no peripheral views and there are often uneven surfaces and other barriers, hazards that are hard to see until it's too late and even harder to avoid due to the constriction of space. Learn to ride on the road. It is considerably safer and more enjoyable.
    The slow down is accelerating

  7. #7
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Hopefully you wont let a petty legality take precedent over your
    safety and will use the walk if you feel its the safest place for you
    to be in the situation you find yourself in. Just like anything else,
    sidewalk cycling has potential problems but its not rocket science
    or quantum physics...... Look. Look again. Proceed.

  8. #8
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    You can ride on the sidewalks here if they are 2 metres across, don't have any signs that prohibits this, or if your wheels are 24 inches or less... this is designed for children although my daughters hate the sidewalk and like dad, prefer to take the lane.

    In the winter the sidewalks become one of the best /safest routes when the roads are piled deep with snow and the lanes narrow and as far as I have been told by the police, they won't ticket cyclists who use the sidewalks in these conditions.

    My loophole...



    As a courier I do spend a little time on the sidewalks as I roll up to buildings but it really isn't a place I like to ride as you can't make any good time and it just isn't that safe.

  9. #9
    uke
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
    Hopefully you wont let a petty legality take precedent over your
    safety and will use the walk if you feel its the safest place for you
    to be in the situation you find yourself in. Just like anything else,
    sidewalk cycling has potential problems but its not rocket science
    or quantum physics...... Look. Look again. Proceed.
    Exactly. There are no prizes for living and dying by vehicular cycling.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member nostalgic's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. The street connected to my block has a bike path, so there's no problem there. However, the main roads don't have bike paths, but there are sidewalks. I have a 21 speed bicycle, but I'm still hesitant to take the lane with cars going 50+ mph, especially when traffic gets heavy. This is all a new experience for me. I know I need more confidence.
    By the way, I'm in the Phoenix area.

  11. #11
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    My loophole...
    That little Raleigh Twenty of yours just looks happy anywhere . Most tasteful road conversion I've seen of one, to boot...

    -Kurt

  12. #12
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    In Hawaii, it is illegal to ride on sidewalks in business districts.

  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    That little Raleigh Twenty of yours just looks happy anywhere . Most tasteful road conversion I've seen of one, to boot...

    -Kurt
    Thanks... "Forrest" used to work for Shell Oil as one of their plant bikes (they named him that) and I plan on taking him to work tomorrow so he can add messengering to his resume.

    BTW - He's a Phillip's 20.


  14. #14
    Randomhead
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    in my town, they have signs posted in the business district that prohibits bicycles from the sidewalk. It's really a mess, since the business district is on a long hill, and the main drag is a one-way street. There is an alley, also mostly one way, that they should make into a bike lane, but too many people rely on it for car traffic.

    I do not think bicycles should be allowed on sidewalks. Bicycle-pedestrian accidents are very bad for the pedestrian. There are some places where the town seems to want cyclists on the sidewalk, one in particular on a very steep hill. I don't ride the sidewalk there, last time I did there was a ninja pedestrian and we scared the crap out of each other.

  15. #15
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    yes, unless you are a cop

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I hope the OP has taken the time and effort to look it up him/herself ... but just in case the OP hasn't started looking into this him/herself, here are some websites to get you going ...

    http://azbikelaw.org/
    http://azbikelaw.org/blog/sidewalk-cycling-in-arizona/
    http://phoenix.gov/POLICE/bikesa1.html

  17. #17
    Dogs like me. Ajenkins's Avatar
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    Even if it is not illegal, sidewalk riding is much more dangerous than riding in the street. I suggest you get off the sidewalk and onto the road as soon as possible.

  18. #18
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajenkins View Post
    Even if it is not illegal, sidewalk riding is much more dangerous than riding in the street. I suggest you get off the sidewalk and onto the road as soon as possible.
    But, sometimes there is a lot of bull on the roads.
    Today's 85 milie ride:

    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  19. #19
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    This isn't a black white thing... in the winter here the residential streets can become all but impassable while the main roads and MUTS are generally well cleared.

    If you do ride on the sidewalks then you have to take extra precautions.

  20. #20
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    This isn't a black white thing...
    I don't know, that cow looks completely black to me.

  21. #21
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    sideWALK? Hmmmmmm . . .

  22. #22
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    sideWALK? Hmmmmmm . . .
    You get a lot of snow down in Az don't ya ?



    For folks in warmer climes I don't think there is any reason to ride the sidewalks unless the road is flooded.

  23. #23
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    Barring some pretty rare exceptions, sidewalk riding tends to be an awful idea. It's one of the best ways to get hit by a car (think about when you're driving and leaving a parking lot, how often do roll out on the sidewalk so that you can see oncoming traffic better). In some cities it's downright illegal, though another common approach is to restrict cycling in business districts (and ignore residential areas).

    If you're talking about a sidewalk with driveways, cross-streets, and pedestrians you really shouldn't be going any faster than you would be walking... you're going to get hit sooner or later if you start zipping down sidewalks. That said, there's times when the sidewalk looks more like a half-decent MUP, and there's no driveways and cross-streets are stretched way apart... and there are times when these can be better than a bad street. Be smart about it and use some discretion, but there's no good reason to put yourself in more danger if it's one of the few sidewalks that is actually better than the street next to it.

    As for legality, depends on your city. Google is your friend, though I'd wager that if you were lazy and posted where you live on here, some noble soul would do the dirty work for you.

  24. #24
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Here in the Dallas area, I have no idea if it's legal or not, but it's commonly done and presumably not enforced if it is illegal. You see people in lycra on road bikes on the road, and people in jeans going 8 mph on the sidewalk. And there's actually probably more of the latter than the former.

    What's funny to me is that you'll see people riding like this even when it's a nice wide road without much traffic. Go figure.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  25. #25
    duh-river foe
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    It may or may not be legal- in a lot of urban areas of the US it's not legal in high pedestrian traffic areas but is legal other places in the same city. It's statistically not safer, though. You're much more likely to be hit by turning vehicles because they barely look for walkers on the sidewalk, much less someone moving at bike speed. Also, people coming out of driveways and parking lots definitely don't look at the sidewalk. The rule that you learned as a kid to dismount at every street crossing came from these circumstances. As for kids riding on the sidewalk, they rarely break walking/running speed so it isn't quite as unsafe for them as it is for even a slow adult.

    http://bicyclesafe.com/ is an excellent resource on these things.

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