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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

View Poll Results: What percent of cyclist ride this way?
0 1 1.23%
1-5% 15 18.52%
6-10% 14 17.28%
11-20% 11 13.58%
30-40% 10 12.35%
41-50% 8 9.88%
51-60% 5 6.17%
61-70% 5 6.17%
71-80% 12 14.81%
Voters: 81. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-07-06, 10:44 AM   #1
Mars
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How many cyclists do you see riding on the sidewalk or against traffic?

I am interested in your observations of the proportion of cyclists that you see that ride on the sidewalks and/or on the wrong side of the road. Try and give your best guess based on your all year experiences.

I am posting the same poll over in Advocacy and Safety. Please don't respond twice.

Thanks!
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Old 02-07-06, 11:04 AM   #2
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Way too many. Here in New York, food delivery guys seem to have total disregard for the direction of traffic. I hate meeting one coming the other way on a major street with heavy traffic, where there's really not enough room for two cyclists abreast.
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Old 02-07-06, 11:49 AM   #3
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Far too many, and it's illegal here in Los Angeles. However, the police recently said (in a newspaper article) that they are encouraging more people to ride on the siedwalk. Yeah, they tend to contradict themselves a lot. :-\
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Old 02-07-06, 11:53 AM   #4
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I ride on the sidewalk as often as I can.

Here is why:
Traffic in South FL is extremely dangerous for bikers.
No bike lanes - maybe only for five miles of my commute.
No curtesy - been cut off too many times already in two weeks of riding.
The sidewalks are always vacant. ALWAYS
Its a safer way - rather be safe than sorry.

But I never run into any other cyclers on the road. I never seen any pedestrians either. Maybe I am in a unique situation.
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Old 02-07-06, 11:56 AM   #5
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It's odd. I may go several weeks without seeing anyone riding the wrong way or on sidewalks and then I'll see a cluster over a few days. I've never seen anyone but messengers riding the wrong way in the street. Sidewalk riders are somewhat more common.

I will admit to riding on sidewalks in a couple of places where it is legal to do so, but I never go very far on sidewalks since there are so many more hazards. I'm always amazed at riders who use really busy sidewalks downtown, its just an unnecessary hazard.
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Old 02-07-06, 12:01 PM   #6
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We have a number of utility bicyclists here. I often see them on sidewalks and riding against traffic. Of course they rarely wear helmets either. We also have these sidewalks in certain places that are actually considered part of the greenway and bikes are allowed on them. I still don't use them, except for about a 100 ft stretch where I would be required to hop a curb if I went into the street there.
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Old 02-07-06, 12:03 PM   #7
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Part of my commute in my suburb is on a sidewalk. Not a proper sidewalk. More like a MUP that is placed further away from the street. Something to do with fed funding of MUPs. I have no clue what these are called. I heard it mentioned once in A&S.

I avoid traditional sidewalks. All in all most of my commute is in the street. Especially in Denver proper.
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Old 02-07-06, 12:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osirisdon
I ride on the sidewalk as often as I can.

Here is why:
Traffic in South FL is extremely dangerous for bikers.
No bike lanes - maybe only for five miles of my commute.
No curtesy - been cut off too many times already in two weeks of riding.
The sidewalks are always vacant. ALWAYS
Its a safer way - rather be safe than sorry.

But I never run into any other cyclers on the road. I never seen any pedestrians either. Maybe I am in a unique situation.
When I first started commuting to work, I took the sidewalks whenever I could. After four close calls and one collision with a car, I realized this was not the place to ride. Cagers coming out of side streets or parking lots, do not stop at the sidewalk, they block it. When they are turning into those same streets or parking lots, they aren't looking for someone flying at them down the sidewalk.

Eventually, I migrated to the street. However, I rode as a gutter bunny and was constantly getting buzzed and honked at. My life became amazingly easier and safer once I started taking the lane. Now cagers see me coming and rarely do I have any problems with whomever else is on the road.
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Old 02-07-06, 12:15 PM   #9
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I ride on the sidewalks occasionally.

When I ride on the road, which is most of the time, I tend to ride in the right tire track part of the lane. If I want to ride quickly where there are a lot of places for cars or pedestrians to cross the sidewalk, I never use the sidewalk.
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Old 02-07-06, 12:51 PM   #10
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More like 90% in my area.
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Old 02-07-06, 01:20 PM   #11
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Most sidewalk riders aren't commuters. They're usually collecting bottles or are riding junky mtn bikes with crap hanging off them. I'm kinda happy they're on the sidewalks, since they are very slow and tend to weave a lot. When I first started riding beyond my neighborhood, I rode the gutter all the time. After my fourth hit and run, I started riding about 3+ feet out from the gutter. That was 17 years ago. I haven't had a problem since.
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Old 02-07-06, 01:32 PM   #12
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How many cyclists do you see riding on the sidewalk or against traffic?

Not as many as I used to, heh.... most of 'em learn the hard way sooner or later...
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Old 02-07-06, 01:53 PM   #13
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I see lots of sidewalk riding and some riding against traffic on regular (non bike lane) streets where I live, though the against-traffic riders are usually messengers or food delivery guys.

What gets me, though, is that a lot of people ride the wrong way in on-street bike lanes; even when there's a bike lane going their direction on the other side of the street (on two way streets), or a bike lane in their direction on a parallel street one block away (as with some one way streets here). There's already enough other stuff to dodge (opening car doors, double-parked cars, etc.) when riding in the bike lane, anyway. Is it too much to ask of these fools just to use the bike lane going in the proper direction? -Maybe it is... I dunno.
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Old 02-07-06, 02:44 PM   #14
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I just moved from Oakland, CA to Orlando FL. In Oakland I rarely saw a cyclist on the sidewalk. In Orlando however, it seems to be 90% or more on the sidewalk. I guess most haven't learned that it is safer on the road.
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Old 02-07-06, 03:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintly Loser
Way too many. Here in New York, food delivery guys seem to have total disregard for the direction of traffic. I hate meeting one coming the other way on a major street with heavy traffic, where there's really not enough room for two cyclists abreast.
QFT
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Old 02-07-06, 03:24 PM   #16
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Along my commute, riding on the wrong side of the street is known as "riding a bicycle." It's almost universal. Also, it appears to be more enjoyable to ride against traffic after dark without lights. A very popular activity in these parts!
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Old 02-07-06, 04:54 PM   #17
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Just a few here and there, less than 5%.
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Old 02-07-06, 05:03 PM   #18
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Not as many riding against traffic, but more than needs to be riding on sidewalks. But then again, the city honestly condones it here, so who am I to judge? They even closed out our bike lanes on Four Mile Run and directed us to... the sidewalk! I just jump the street, and it's no biggie, but a lot of bike traffic stays on the sidewalk to avoid the construction.

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Old 02-07-06, 05:30 PM   #19
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Koffee? Is it against the Law to ride on the Sidewalks?

Here in Colorado, it is legal to ride ANYWHERE as long as it is not POSTED.
(like a supermarket, Malls, stores...etc.)
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Old 02-07-06, 05:41 PM   #20
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Not too many in my area, however I'd say 80% of the people I see are not wearing helmets.
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Old 02-08-06, 07:42 AM   #21
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I put down 30%-40% because till last month I work by the local University and while in that arear it was close to 90% but once outside the University area it drops off so I tried to average the two togethor.
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Old 02-08-06, 07:58 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkafire
Koffee? Is it against the Law to ride on the Sidewalks?

Here in Colorado, it is legal to ride ANYWHERE as long as it is not POSTED.
(like a supermarket, Malls, stores...etc.)

In lots of DC it is, but there are some parts where it's permitted, like the Mall or the Tidal Basin.

Koffee
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Old 02-08-06, 08:11 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oboeguy
QFT
after i googled this i got
-quality food training
-Quick Fourier Transportation
-Queens film theatre

none of these seem relevant, so what does does mean?

can't say much about riding on siedwalks i rarely see it, ive done about 3 times, when i was just starting to ride my bike, and then once after i wipeout out on the pavement in light traffic during a rainstorm, i was too scared to ride on the streets immediatley after.

anyways, here in nyc there are way too many morons riding the wrong way, and they really hold up everything, from the cars to the other bikers. When ever i pass them i realize how bad i want one of those jousting swords and knock em right off thier bike, like knights did on thier horses in the medieval era!
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Old 02-08-06, 08:21 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Not as many riding against traffic, but more than needs to be riding on sidewalks. But then again, the city honestly condones it here, so who am I to judge? They even closed out our bike lanes on Four Mile Run and directed us to... the sidewalk! I just jump the street, and it's no biggie, but a lot of bike traffic stays on the sidewalk to avoid the construction.

Koffee
I was by there on Sunday, and was surprised to see the trail closed. Do you know what's going on there, and how long it will be closed?
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Old 02-08-06, 10:27 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkafire
Koffee? Is it against the Law to ride on the Sidewalks?

Here in Colorado, it is legal to ride ANYWHERE as long as it is not POSTED.
(like a supermarket, Malls, stores...etc.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
In lots of DC it is, but there are some parts where it's permitted, like the Mall or the Tidal Basin.

Koffee
In most of DC it is legal to ride on sidewalks. Only in the Central Business District it is not allowed.
The paths down the Mall and Tidal Basin aren't classified as sidewalks. They're all MUP's and they're controlled by the Park Police instead of the DC police.

In the Virginia and Maryland burbs bikes on sidewalks is mostly legal. The state laws allow it in most cases. Vingina law allows it, but lets the towns and counties make their own rules. Old Town Alexandria and a couple of other places don't allow it. On the other end, in the City of Fairfax there are several posted roads where riding on the sidewalk / bike path is REQUIRED and the city police will ticket bikes on the road.
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