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  1. #1
    Senior Member Peiper1's Avatar
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    Riding Bikes on the Sidewalk

    Was out for a walk with my wife tonight when some guy riding his bike on the sidewalk almost whacked us from behind. As if this wasn't bad enough, he then yells for us to get "the **** out of his way"!! What do you guys think of people who do this, and what would an appropriate response be?
    Last edited by unterhausen; 07-29-13 at 05:34 AM. Reason: pleae don't defeat the censor
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  2. #2
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    The last guy that refused to yield to me on the sidewalk while he was on his electric bike, got to hear about the four laws he was violating at the time.

    After that, he started yielding, hopefully to every walker and not just the big guy that lectured him.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  3. #3
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    First check your local laws, in some areas riding a bike on the sidewalk is legal provided you yield to pedestrians and pass them with care, in other places it isn't legal at all.

    Once you know where the law is then you can respond accordingly:

    ----- If it isn't legal at all for cyclist to ride on the sidewalks in your area the proper response would be along the lines of: "It's illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk! By Law you are a vehicle and are supposed to be on the road! Do you try to run people down on sidewalks with your car too !?!?!"
    ----- If it is legal for cyclist to ride on the sidewalks but they must yield to pedestrians then the proper response would be along the lines of: "The Law says that if you choose to ride a bike on the sidewalk you must yield to pedestrians! You are a guest in pedestrian territory - act accordingly! If you want to go that fast and can't respect us in our space then ride on the road!"

    Now if you were on a MUP (multi use path) it is generally true that no-one is allowed to block the whole path so walking side by side and not leaving room for others to pass safely makes it partially a problem on your end on a MUP. But in general for a sidewalk, not a MUP, if cyclist are even legally allowed to be on the sidewalk they must yield to pedestrians, period, no exceptions.

    Find out whether you were legally on a sidewalk or a MUP (and if it was a MUP then ask yourself if you were blocking the path and weren't leaving room to pass as you need to do on a multi use path where everyone gets their opportunity and its share and share alike) and then find out if its even legal for cyclists to be on the sidewalk. Its kind of hard to form a proper response if you don't even know what is proper and legal for where you are that isn't just an insult for insult but is actually backed up by fact and will hopefully (one can always hope) may be educational to the other individual (and maybe you as well if you were blocking a MUP and weren't leaving room for others to pass as you are supposed to do on a MUP.)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    I always imagine that in my head as a joke, but if they do it for real then there are definitely issues there (anti-social or something)

    Just at the grocery store today i was saying "Hey what if i drive this cart the way people drive their cars around bicycles and pedestrians, what would happen?"
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  5. #5
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astrozombie View Post
    I always imagine that in my head as a joke, but if they do it for real then there are definitely issues there (anti-social or something)

    Just at the grocery store today i was saying "Hey what if i drive this cart the way people drive their cars around bicycles and pedestrians, what would happen?"
    Some vehicle operators, including some bicycle type vehicle operators, are so selfish and belligerent that they will do anything they think they can get away with and constantly push the limit on what they think they can get away with to shave mere seconds off of their travel time at the risk of other peoples lives, health, and property.

    Isn't right, but they are out there. They don't have any specific malice towards other people they just don't give a ^#@&@$%R%@ about anyone but themselves and for the most minor convenience of only a half-second of saved time on their end they will not hesitate to gamble other peoples very lives much less mere health or property. The only way they can be kept in check is by them learning they can't get away with it and that fact being repeatably reinforced upon them since they will continually try to push the limit.

  6. #6
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    "You're not a child. Ride on the street like an adult."
    Last edited by davehbuffalo; 07-29-13 at 12:54 AM. Reason: typo

  7. #7
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davehbuffalo View Post
    "You're not a child. Ride on the street like an adult."
    Provided an adult riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is not illegal that really isn't the point, learning to respect pedestrians as a guest on their turf if you choose to ride there where legal to do so is the issue. Just like having enough (un-?)common decency to follow any of the other rules established for the public right of way so that everyone plays by the same rules and can get to where they are going safely and only as much inconvenience as is necessary for other people to get where they are going as well safely.

    But some people are so selfish all they can think about is me, me, me, me, and are willing to do almost anything at any level of risk to others to get where they are going just a little bit faster without regard for anyone else.

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    Be a militant sidewalk rider if you like, but eventually your karma will run over your dogma.

  9. #9
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    Well, well, the trolls are at it again This goof was in the wrong. Bikes should ALWAYS yield to pedestrians even if they CAN legally ride on the same surface.

    An adult should NOT be riding on the sidewalk - unless it is allowed in the municipality AND there is no other alternative.

    In my city they cut a major highway in and cut off 3/4 of the through streets going form east to west. Those that are left are choked with traffic and have 45 or 50 MPH speed limits, NO shoulders (curb to curb lanes) and the traffic typically goes up to 60 mph or more. One street that I need to use once in a while has a 7' sidewalk on each side. put there for foot and bicycle traffic. NOT an official city MUP but to keep non motorist traffic OFF the major streets. It is typically the one and only sidewalk I ever ride on and ONLY if I don't take the LONG way around (3 additional miles). Heck, I've seen the COPS ride a bike on it.

    In any quiet street, older neighborhood with narrow walks there is NO reason to ride on the sidewalk.

    Practically speaking it is safer and usually more comfortable riding on the street. The constant bumps of expansion joints on the sidewalk drives me nuts, as does the traffic pulling out of driveways and streets not watching where they are going. The bumps going up and down curbs and driveways is a killer too. The street is typically smoother and by taking the lane makes you MORE visible to surrounding traffic.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    The guy was an an inconsiderate idiot. I never ride much on sidewalks but the sidewalks in my town don't get much use and I occasionally use them when traffic is heavy and there are no pedestrians on them. I know that if there were pedestrians on them, I'd walk the bike.

  11. #11
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    The guy was a total jerk. I would have yelled obscenities at him and have attempted to knock him over, especially if he ran into my wife.

    Of course, if this was a MUP, then you shouldn't be walking double-file.

  12. #12
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    While the guy was obviously an inconsiderate jerk, I'm also not a fan of walkers that walk doublewide and have absolutely zero situational awareness. I don't ride a bike on sidewalks, but I do run, and it's irritating as hell when people amble as slowly as possible and force anyone coming from behind them to veer off the sidewalk.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
    Well, well, the trolls are at it again This goof was in the wrong. Bikes should ALWAYS yield to pedestrians even if they CAN legally ride on the same surface.

    An adult should NOT be riding on the sidewalk - unless it is allowed in the municipality AND there is no other alternative.


    In my city they cut a major highway in and cut off 3/4 of the through streets going form east to west. Those that are left are choked with traffic and have 45 or 50 MPH speed limits, NO shoulders (curb to curb lanes) and the traffic typically goes up to 60 mph or more. One street that I need to use once in a while has a 7' sidewalk on each side. put there for foot and bicycle traffic. NOT an official city MUP but to keep non motorist traffic OFF the major streets. It is typically the one and only sidewalk I ever ride on and ONLY if I don't take the LONG way around (3 additional miles). Heck, I've seen the COPS ride a bike on it.

    In any quiet street, older neighborhood with narrow walks there is NO reason to ride on the sidewalk.


    Practically speaking it is safer and usually more comfortable riding on the street. The constant bumps of expansion joints on the sidewalk drives me nuts, as does the traffic pulling out of driveways and streets not watching where they are going. The bumps going up and down curbs and driveways is a killer too. The street is typically smoother and by taking the lane makes you MORE visible to surrounding traffic.
    Both of the underlined quotes are YOUR OPINION, and are pretty loaded; who the hell are you to decided what's acceptable for another reasoning adult? Intolerance and bigotry are not the hallmarks of an adult to start with.

    Sidewalk riding is legal here, and in many places, advisable, due to blindly and willfully ignorant people who literally DO NOT RESPECT THE CONCEPT OF LAWS. Whether it is "advisable" in lesser-traveled areas is irrelevant; it's LEGAL and allowed. Local law DOES require yielding to pedestrians, too. It's not tough -- rumble around in the grass strip, like my bike was designed to do.

    Now, to the OP situation: if I was walking, and someone approached me like that, they'd be off that bike pretty quickly, because I'd KICK THEM OVER. Likely, I'd be walking with one or more of my kids, and you endanger them at your peril.

  14. #14
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    Jerks come in every form, jerk drivers, jerk cyclists and jerk pedestrians, alone with roller bladers, skate boarders, and so on. You happened to meet one riding his bike on the sidewalk and blaming others for being in his way.

    Not to be rude to you, but I don't see the point of your question. He was a jerk, and you can respond to him as you would to any other jerk in accordance to your temperament.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member ro-monster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davehbuffalo View Post
    "You're not a child. Ride on the street like an adult."
    That surely wouldn't work where I live. About half of the adult cyclists I see are riding on the sidewalk (it's legal here) so they would probably just look at you like you'd lost your mind.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    Both of the underlined quotes are YOUR OPINION, and are pretty loaded; who the hell are you to decided what's acceptable for another reasoning adult? Intolerance and bigotry are not the hallmarks of an adult to start with.

    Sidewalk riding is legal here, and in many places, advisable, due to blindly and willfully ignorant people who literally DO NOT RESPECT THE CONCEPT OF LAWS. Whether it is "advisable" in lesser-traveled areas is irrelevant; it's LEGAL and allowed. Local law DOES require yielding to pedestrians, too. It's not tough -- rumble around in the grass strip, like my bike was designed to do.

    Now, to the OP situation: if I was walking, and someone approached me like that, they'd be off that bike pretty quickly, because I'd KICK THEM OVER. Likely, I'd be walking with one or more of my kids, and you endanger them at your peril.
    Umm, pal who the hell I am is not the issue here, I was expressing MY opinion just as YOU expressed YOURS. I clearly stated IF ALLOWED IN THE MUNICIPALITY - in many, perhaps most it is NOT. I think it's clear by your statements who is intolerant and bigoted.

    As far as the OP's situation you would probably find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit should you "kick them over" as you stated.

  17. #17
    THE STUFFED Leukybear's Avatar
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    Calm down you two. There will always be law breakers out there no matter what bureaucracy has written on paper that's why it's important that you follow them and at the same time be careful and weary of said cyclists.

  18. #18
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    It's illegal to ride a bicycle on sidewalks in the city and county of San Francisco if the rider is 13 years of age or older.

    SF Transportation Code (SFTC) Sec. 7.2.12 forbids sidewalk bicycle riding, while Sec. 1007 states "children under the age of 13 may ride a bicycle on any sidewalk except as otherwise posted".

    http://www.sfbike.org/?sidewalks
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by davehbuffalo
    "You're not a child. Ride on the street like an adult."
    Quote Originally Posted by ro-monster View Post
    That surely wouldn't work where I live. About half of the adult cyclists I see are riding on the sidewalk (it's legal here) so they would probably just look at you like you'd lost your mind.
    Sure, every place is a little different, but here, and as Scooper pointed out San Francisco, and Toronto (where the OP is), cycling on the sidewalk is illegal for adults. I'm sure it makes sense to ride on the sidewalk in some places, but more often than not I think it's inappropriate for adults, legal or not. I think under the circumstances it's a reasonable response.
    Last edited by davehbuffalo; 07-29-13 at 01:05 PM. Reason: gramma

  20. #20
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    I stand corrected. It's legal to ride your bike on the sidewalk in Toronto if the wheel size is 24 inches or smaller.

  21. #21
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    I really dislike having people ride on sidewalks. However, since the choice seems to be having them ride on sidewalks or drive poorly, I accept the sidewalk riders without comment.

    Over the past year or so, a group of volunteers that included me worked to change the striping on a street to discourage sidewalk riding (removal of on-street parking to alleviate door-zone bike lane issue). Unfortunately, the car-addicted public has been choosing to park in the bike lane. When I approached a motorist and her passenger to inform them that this was both illegal and dangerous, the passenger lit into me about how the real problem was cyclists on the sidewalk.

  22. #22
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    I hated them even as a kid...bump bump bump *tree* bump bump bump *trash can* bump bump bump *dog* bump bump bump *old lady*. Nothing more annoying than an old lady snagged up in the frame pump.

  23. #23
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    Constantly have college kids and others riding on the sidewalks near the various campuses in Pittsburgh. The Police don't seem to do anything about it either.... A couple years ago I worked in the 'burgh and had to ride the bus in and out of town..... I was getting really tired of people not having the sack to ride down the road with traffic....... they were constantly buzzing through the crowd of 15- 20 odd people standing at the bus stop waiting for their bus to show... MANY CLOSE CALLS and lots of get off the siedwalk\get outa the way comments both ways - An all around bad situation. One day my bus was pulling up as one of these yahoos tries to buzz through the crowd. As I stepped forward I saw him out of the corner of my eye and was able to brace for impact - he took a solid shoulder and went flying.....(edited to add that THIS time the contact was unavoidable and unintentional on my part) he got up yelling at me ready to fight because i got in HIS WAY ??? WTF?.... I told him to get off the sidewalk before he hurts someone (to which he asked if I saw that traffic.... no way he was gonna take the chance of getting hit by a car to ride down the road). As I got on my bus I told him that I've ridden in a lot worse traffic than this and that "this time" he ran into me accidentally and "he lost" the collision..... If he decided to buzz thru again and I saw him coming I would be ready instead of reacting and he would "dramatically lose" that collision ..... Once I sat down and bus was rolling I got a couple of "way to show him" comments and a few others that showed me that they had 911 dialed and ready go if things escalated.... Thankfully neither of us was injured and my contract ended before he and I had another run in.
    Last edited by hockeyref; 07-29-13 at 02:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I really dislike having people ride on sidewalks. However, since the choice seems to be having them ride on sidewalks or drive poorly, I accept the sidewalk riders without comment.

    Over the past year or so, a group of volunteers that included me worked to change the striping on a street to discourage sidewalk riding (removal of on-street parking to alleviate door-zone bike lane issue). Unfortunately, the car-addicted public has been choosing to park in the bike lane. When I approached a motorist and her passenger to inform them that this was both illegal and dangerous, the passenger lit into me about how the real problem was cyclists on the sidewalk.
    You can fix stupid roads... but you cant fix stupid people. This is 'Merica.

  25. #25
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    The guy was a total jerk. I would have yelled obscenities at him and have attempted to knock him over, especially if he ran into my wife.

    Of course, if this was a MUP, then you shouldn't be walking double-file.
    Even if it was a MUP the onus on the cyclist is the give ample warning and pass safely.
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