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Old 01-23-05, 04:14 PM   #1
Dahon.Steve
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Bicycling advocates Riding on Sidewalks!

Bicycling has a feature article this month called "Bike town" where they hand free cycles to ordinary people. There are two whole pages that show an entire family riding on the sidewalks heading for school! Yup! All seven memebers on the sidewalk! lol!

I didn't find anything wrong with the picture except when the mother states "Rebecca (Kindergartner) can go 12 mph" while riding on the sidewalk! I happen to think this is too fast and the child should be told to go slower otherwise, there's nothing wrong in general. Sure there are risks riding on the sidewalks but if done slowly, it's safer than having a 5 year old riding with cars.

I know some of you hardcore riders would want that child mixing it with the trucks but that's crazy. The older kids should be on the streets but maybe they live in the burbs where there's very little pedestrian traffic on the sidewalks. It's also possible they live in an area where the traffic is fast and the roads are narrow.

Anyway, I find it interesting that Bicycling would advocate this postion.
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Old 01-23-05, 04:28 PM   #2
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I have written to Bicycling twice about the photos of bike riders on sidewalks. They have had two shoots in NYC and there are the bikes on the sidewalks, people pushing around them. Children are a different story, I think that it is okay that they are there, and they really should not be out in the street, maybe it is a weight/mass thing over a speed issue. A poster here pointed out that Bicycling is really to get people hooked on bikes, I and I agree, because besides the pictures and biketown, everything in the rag just skims the surface of usefullness. But here they are reinforcing sidewalk riding! Aggghhh I don't know how to solve everyones' route problems that brings them to sidewalks, but the magazine certainly could have shot them somewhere else.
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Old 01-23-05, 04:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by nycm'er
I have written to Bicycling twice about the photos of bike riders on sidewalks. They have had two shoots in NYC and there are the bikes on the sidewalks, people pushing around them. Children are a different story, I think that it is okay that they are there, and they really should not be out in the street, maybe it is a weight/mass thing over a speed issue. A poster here pointed out that Bicycling is really to get people hooked on bikes, I and I agree, because besides the pictures and biketown, everything in the rag just skims the surface of usefullness. But here they are reinforcing sidewalk riding! Aggghhh I don't know how to solve everyones' route problems that brings them to sidewalks, but the magazine certainly could have shot them somewhere else.
We're never going to resolve the issue of sidewalk riding because I suspect 30% or more of all cyclists are not using the roads. Even I ride on sidwalks for 10 blocks each night but go slower than 12 mph! I agree that riding on sidewalks in New York City could result in a very large ticket.
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Old 01-23-05, 05:24 PM   #4
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And so it should! Tickets are not even the issue, look at the cops here, all fall ARRESTING bikers and confiscating bikes for BS reasons. They cant even enforce real laws while they are busy busting people for fake ones. I am not so worried about what drivers think about me and my riding, I do care what legal pedestrians think, and sidewalk riding is bad news. I do it too, the old manhattan bridge brooklyn side, there is no one walking, so who cares. I am talking about a busy urban sidewalk and those are the situations I saw in the photos taken.
I think that we can solve the problem of sidewalk riding, the more bikers out there, the more it can't happen. I also dont think it will be that hard. Nail your friends for doing it, stop food delivery guys for doing it, and be a squeaky wheel -lead by example. The more people in the street the more safe others who would otherwise be sidewalking it, will feel. I think public opinion works in inverse fashions sometimes. The more lawbreaking bikers people (aka voters) see, the less they feel they should do them any favors, like fund bike amenities. Unless you are a car, in that case the more traffic into a city, the more roads we need to build to spread out that traffic, so more traffic can come in. Blah. I do not want to seem as though I am jumping on you D.Steve, just the idea, I don't it is safe or smart to be quiet.
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Old 01-23-05, 05:30 PM   #5
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oops thats: I don't THINK it is safe or smart to be quiet.
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Old 01-23-05, 06:32 PM   #6
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There's a father near San Jose that probably wishes he and his daughter, and their friend, were riding on a sidewalk on their way to school, when the girl in the car driving to high school swung wide and ran his daughter over, killing her right in front of her dad. Some people are just plain scared to be out of the road on bikes. Here in California, it's legal for kids to ride on the sidewalk until they're 16 years old.
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Old 01-23-05, 07:27 PM   #7
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Is this the article?

http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,3...ategory_id=363

Too bad they don't have any pictures.
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Old 01-23-05, 07:29 PM   #8
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That's the article.

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Old 01-23-05, 07:48 PM   #9
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That's the Biketown issue last from last year. I think the poster is talking about a new issue. Bicycling was supposed to do another expirement, with several different cities, this year.
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Old 01-23-05, 08:02 PM   #10
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Whoops. I didn't know they did it last year too. I just scanned through the article and read about the slightly psychotic guy from Chicago that got the bike.

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Old 01-23-05, 10:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
There's a father near San Jose that probably wishes he and his daughter, and their friend, were riding on a sidewalk on their way to school, when the girl in the car driving to high school swung wide and ran his daughter over, killing her right in front of her dad. Some people are just plain scared to be out of the road on bikes. Here in California, it's legal for kids to ride on the sidewalk until they're 16 years old.
I'm talking about the new issue of Bicycling with the current "Bike Town" experiment.

I find that teenagers have to get into several wrecks before they settle and become sensible drivers. Unfortunately, this teenager driving to high school had the required accident on a poor girl.
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Old 01-23-05, 10:26 PM   #12
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In Quebec bikes with wheels up to 20" are permitted on the sidewalks. When my children were out with me frrom age 4, they went on the roads, so they could learn to handle traffic. I rode behind them, so I could watch what they were doing and I rode further out from the edge so cars wouldnt pass too close. They rode on the sidewalk when they were out with their friends until they were about 12 years old.
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Old 01-24-05, 08:17 AM   #13
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I started allowing my son to ride on the street when he was 10 (last year) once I felt he was skilled enough to ride with traffic. Prior to that, he rode exclusively on sidewalks while I rode beside him on the road. Three years ago (when he was 8) he was hit by a pickup going too fast out of an alley (fortunately he was not seriously hurt). He was not at fault in that instance: the driver was. It could just as easily been a mother pushing a stroller that was hit by that idiot. Sidewalks are dangerous to be riding on, but they are less dangerous for kids than busy city streets like we have. I impress upon him the need to be aware, constantly vigilant for potential dangers and aggressive/defensive when necessary, yet considerate when riding. In my opinion, there are few logical reasons for adults to ever ride on the sidewalk and I make a point of avoiding them unless absolutely necessary. If there are pedestrians, I get off and walk it. More bike lanes would reduce the number of ignorant, reckless and inconsiderate sidewalk cyclists and those that insist on riding on the sidewalk should be fined the same as if a motorist was driving on the sidewalk. Any magazine displaying what is tantamount to promoting sidewalk riding is being irresponsible and should be held accountable.
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Old 01-24-05, 08:40 AM   #14
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personally I don't have a problem with kids or even adults (when with kids) on the sidewalk when they are riding slow on the way to school as long as they yield to pedestrians. I also agree that 12 mph is too fast for sidewalks. The parents and kids I see riding bikes to school on the sidewalk are going more like 5-7 mph. I'm usually annoyed that the parents aren't wearing helmets. I could care less if they are on the sidewalk given their pace.
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Old 01-24-05, 09:28 AM   #15
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Here in Philly, it is legal to ride on the sidewalks if you are not impeding the regular flow of pedestrian traffic. However, you can move more effectively through the city in the streets. I also see a lot of adults on the sidewalk who insist on the right of way from peds, and get upset if they have to come to a stop and get off their pedals (ridiculous!)

As for children on the sidewalk, that is probably the safest place for them. One thing I haven't seen here is the issue of the child's visibility. They are inherently shorter than most of us on bicycles, and it is more difficult for cars to see them, especially cars turning onto a street with parked cars along the side. And, parents should be with their children on bikes, in helmets, unless they are in a controlled neighborhood setting (no major traffic or high speed roads).

I look back at the "rules of the road" my mon taught me, and they were pretty bad. 1. Ride on the sidewalks. 2. If you can't do #1, ride facing traffic. 3. You don't need a helmet.
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Old 01-24-05, 11:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by DogBoy
personally I don't have a problem with kids or even adults (when with kids) on the sidewalk when they are riding slow on the way to school as long as they yield to pedestrians. I also agree that 12 mph is too fast for sidewalks. The parents and kids I see riding bikes to school on the sidewalk are going more like 5-7 mph. I'm usually annoyed that the parents aren't wearing helmets. I could care less if they are on the sidewalk given their pace.
While I leave myself vulnerable to injury, I hate helmets. I've tried to wear them, but they are uncomfortable as they over-heat my head so badly in the summer that I have become dizzy with heat-stroke. And they don't fit properly over touques in the winter. Yes, I have tried all types of ventilated helmets, but the same problem exists. Fortunately, I am a very conscientious and alert cyclist and, therefore, have not had an accident in more than twenty years. Why you would be upset at an adult not wearing a helmet is beyond me. An adult not wearing a helmet is not against the law (at least here) nor does it endanger pedestrians or anyone else, except the adult, unlike sidewalk riding which puts everyone at risk.
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Old 01-24-05, 11:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
There's a father near San Jose that probably wishes he and his daughter, and their friend, were riding on a sidewalk on their way to school, when the girl in the car driving to high school swung wide and ran his daughter over, killing her right in front of her dad. . . .
The kid would have been at more risk on the sidewalk because she would have been crossing streets in crosswalks where cars don't expect them. Riding on the sidewalk is like riding without a seatbelt. Every once in a blue moon, a seatbelt-less rider gets thrown to safety, but many more die as a result of not wearing a seatbelt. Likewise, a few kids may be unlucky on the road, but more would be unlucky on the sidewalk.

As far as sidewalk riding goes, it is generally a bad idea, but every rule has its exceptions. Cyclists on the sidewalk must obey pedestrian rules and go at pedestrian speeds.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EnigManiac
I started allowing my son to ride on the street when he was 10 (last year) once I felt he was skilled enough to ride with traffic. Prior to that, he rode exclusively on sidewalks while I rode beside him on the road. Three years ago (when he was 8) he was hit by a pickup going too fast out of an alley (fortunately he was not seriously hurt). He was not at fault in that instance: the driver was. It could just as easily been a mother pushing a stroller that was hit by that idiot. . . .
I'm glad your kid was OK, but the accident illustrates the dangers of sidewalk riding. If your kid had been on the street, both he and the driver would have had more time to react. Some people feel safer on the sidewalk, but that's a gross misperception.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 01-24-05 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 01-24-05, 12:10 PM   #18
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Why you would be upset at an adult not wearing a helmet is beyond me.
I'm not a helmet freak, and don't have a problem with adults not wearing helmets if that is their choice, even though I think its a big risk. I get upset though when parents ride without helmets but make their kids ride with helmets. It sends the message that helmets are only for kids. Its the whole teach by example thing. An adult riding on their own is different to me than an adult riding with kids.
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Old 01-24-05, 12:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
The kid would have been at more risk on the sidewalk because she would have been crossing streets in crosswalks where cars don't expect them. Riding on the sidewalk is like riding without a seatbelt. Every once in a blue moon, a seatbelt-less rider gets thrown to safety, but many more die as a result of not wearing a seatbelt. Likewise, a few kids may be unlucky on the road, but more would be unlucky on the sidewalk.

As far as sidewalk riding goes, it is generally a bad idea, but every rule has its exceptions. Cyclists on the sidewalk must obey pedestrian rules and go at pedestrian speeds.

I'm glad your kid was OK, but the accident illustrates the dangers of sidewalk riding. If your kid had been on the street, both he and the driver would have had more time to react. Some people feel safer on the sidewalk, but that's a gross misperception.
A week or so ago an 18-year old student bicycling on a sidewalk in Durham, NC was killed by a school bus in front of the school.

http://www.wral.com/news/4074103/detail.html

Sidewalk cycling is associated with disproportionately high percentage of collisions in this area, and as this incident shows the consequences of sidewalk-related collisions are often just as severe as roadway collisions. Freak collisions do happen to vehicular-operation roadway cyclists, but less often compared to sidewalk users.
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Old 01-24-05, 01:46 PM   #20
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I'm glad your kid was OK, but the accident illustrates the dangers of sidewalk riding. If your kid had been on the street, both he and the driver would have had more time to react. Some people feel safer on the sidewalk, but that's a gross misperception.
Thanks. Forunately, it only scared the daylights out of him (and me!) and nearly earned the driver a week in the hospital. While you are correct in observing that had my (then) eight year-old son been on the street, both he and the driver might have had more time to react, I would never allow my son on that particular street at that age: the street is an artery for entering/exiting the city and the drivers are often recklessly changing lanes, blocking cross-walks, encroaching on the T-shaped intersection, hugging the curb and speeding like demons. He might never have had a chance to see nine if he rode on that street. And besides, the truck that hit my son failed to stop at the end of the blind alley before the sidewalk, proceeding past the stop sign as if it wasn't even there. He even concurred it was entirely his fault: he would have hit anyone walking (or riding) by.
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Old 01-24-05, 05:16 PM   #21
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I average over 100mph on city streets so the sidewalk is unsuitable for me.
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Old 01-24-05, 05:57 PM   #22
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53-11? Is that you?
*grin*
/misses alltheway
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Old 01-24-05, 06:02 PM   #23
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That'll do it.
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Old 01-25-05, 05:55 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
Bicycling has a feature article this month called "Bike town" where they hand free cycles to ordinary people. There are two whole pages that show an entire family riding on the sidewalks heading for school! Yup! All seven memebers on the sidewalk! lol!
I'm sure Bicycling magazine has some handy uses. I just haven't found out what they are, yet.

My subscription to Indoor Camping takes up all my magazine money.
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Old 01-25-05, 06:27 PM   #25
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When morons drive vehicles, not even sidewalks are safe. I ride with my eight year old nephew on quiet, low traffic streets. I ride just left of his rear wheel, figuring drivers behind us are more likely to notice me than to notice him.

However, the subdivisions in his part of town usually "dead end" into four lane "mini-highways" with bumper to bumper traffic sometimes hitting speeds of up to 50 mph. So, to get from one sub-division to the next, we ride on the sidewalk instead of on the four lane.

A few weeks ago, a kid driving down the four lane suddenly turned into a driveway without signaling, and he was probably going close to 30 mph as he came off the street onto the driveway and across the sidewalk. My nephew had gotten ahead of me and the car went between us. The teen driver screetched to a halt half way up the driveway. I could tell from the look on the driver's face that he had not seen my nephew until his car had crossed the sidewalk.

So, our "new" sidewalk procedure is to ride slooowly, with me just ahead of him, to check each driveway for vehicles pulling out or pulling in. But, in a land where morons drive two ton vehicles, there is never any "guarantee" of safety.

Heck, several people were injured last year in Houston by drivers crashing into their living rooms or bedrooms. Another parked his car in the middle of a ice cream shop.

And, this morning, a Houston police officer was driving to work too slowly for the guy behind him. The guy tapped the officer's rear bumper with his front bumper. When the officer, in uniform, got out of his car to complain, the officer was gunned down. Message to cyclists: be VERY polite to Houston drivers.
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