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-   -   Sidewalks or streets (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/920507-sidewalks-streets.html)

droy45 11-02-13 05:05 PM

Street almost all the time. Its smoother and faster. On one part of my commute I have to use the sidewalk on the left side of a 4 lane high traffic road. I could use the street and command my lane but I would have to maintain at least 30 mph and I certainly can't. I probably would not get run over but I would be holding up a very large string of traffic behind me and thats just too stressful for me so the sidewalk is there and so easy and available I use it to escape this area then back on the road. There is no law against using sidewalks around here and some people use them exclusively, just not for me.

Rob22315 11-02-13 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder (Post 16213706)
If you can't make it up a hill, take the walk of shame.
Riding on the sidewalk is a disaster waiting to happen, dismount & act like a pedestrian. Why feed the hate we cyclist take on a day to day basis?
Side"walk"

No, YOU can walk, I will continue to ride up the hill via the sidewalk. I don't terrorize pedestrians and don't feed the hate. Most of this is a matter of attitude and common sense, not rules.

Ghost Ryder 11-02-13 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob22315 (Post 16213934)
No, YOU can walk, I will continue to ride up the hill via the sidewalk. I don't terrorize pedestrians and don't feed the hate. Most of this is a matter of attitude and common sense, not rules.

I never walk up any hill, like I said keep on trucking!
I don't stand for bullying from cars on the road, or cyclist on the sidewalk.

Its not being a terror, its moreso that pedestrians can be very unpredictable. Sometimes you run into someone with headphones on, or 1/2/3 nose deep in their cell phones.
Not only do they not expect to have a cyclist coming up from behind, but it presents a sense of danger for both sides. Say you pass on the left as usual, what if they take "On your left" as move to your left? Say they follow where their head moves? Someone is going to end up down, or on the road.

This happened recently here,the cyclists tried her best to react to the pedestrian walking in a bike lane, & ended up jumping off the curb right under a bus. Who's @ fault here?
Someone lost their life cause of another persons choice to be somewhat careless to the law of our city.

Your choice to use the sidewalk as a bike lane doesn't do anything to help the "attitude" most people have against cyclists. No matter what your intentions are people don't like it.
I'm not telling you not to practise what you preach, I'm just voicing my opinion on this subject.
I can't stand people walking in the bike lane, I feel the same about people riding on the sidewalks, & this is coming from an avid cyclist.

If its a MUP we're talking about that's fine, cause its marked, & most people who use MUP know what to expect.

You have your opinions, & beliefs. I have mine.

Papa Tom 11-02-13 07:00 PM

Sometimes, on my morning commute, I will detour off the regular route to stop at a deli for breakfast. To get there, I ride behind a shopping center for a little bit, then I come out at a driveway that's about 200 feet from the deli, on the same side of the road. So, I have the choice of crossing a very busy four-lane turnpike and riding on the road, with traffic, for that short distance - then crossing back over to the deli - OR riding on the sidewalk, against traffic, the 200 feet to the deli.

The first time only, I crossed the street and did it right. Since then. I always choose to take the sidewalk. It feels silly and dorky, and I hate setting a bad example for young kids and inexperienced cyclists, but the alternative complicates matters way too much just to get a bagel and a container of orange juice.

Overall, though, I will almost NEVER ride on a sidewalk, unless a situation like the one I just described arises, which is extremely rare.

Ghost Ryder 11-02-13 07:08 PM

This is an exception, in this case.
I'm guilty of taking the "easy way out" when having a choice of crossing multi lane roads.
I still try to dismount if there's a lot of foot traffic.

Medic Zero 11-02-13 11:42 PM

.

Always the street. The only places I take the sidewalk are:

* There was one spot on a route that I used to take that it was easier to: cut across the opposing lane of traffic, get on the sidewalk mid-block, and cross the intersection in the cross walk and then head east (I was heading south up to that point), rather than wait in a row of cars for a gap in opposing traffic so I could turn left. There isn't a turn lane there, and there's always a lot of traffic going the other way, so I'd have to wait several light cycles to make it up to the front and then inevitably was turning from the middle of the intersection as the light turned red and one last car raced through from the other direction. Awful. I chose to take the sidewalk for half a block instead, but have finally settled on different routes now.

* Also on the same route, there'd almost always be a long traffic jam on a one way multi-lane street and sometimes the cars would block my ability to filter to the front, so I'd sometimes hop on the sidewalk for almost a block to get around that. There's actually a bike box at the front of that intersection and the sidewalk is wide and always deserted there, so it felt completely legit to do that.

* Every now and then the narrow streets here will be totally blocked, either by a large vehicle coming from the other direction (or parked), or a line of cars backed up waiting to turn (usually left, and I'm going to turn right), and I'll hop on the sidewalk to get around them. There's one spot on my regular commute home this happens pretty frequently, and this is where my bike takes a beating, because I'm often moving at speed and the line of cars is on a downhill and I exit off the sidewalk into the street by hopping off the curb. My only other option here (other than waiting a light cycle or two for no good reason) is the street before, which is very rough, very uneven cobblestones, on which my bike and my wrists take a beating. Still, I've chosen this most of the time recently, now that it is finally wet though, that might change. It's amazing how few options of through streets there are in the Seattle area.

Other than those special circumstances I always ride in the street. Depending on what I see in my rearview mirror and what each block of road is like, I may be controlling the lane, in the doorzone, in a bikelane (which is often the doorzone!). My preference is in the middle or to the left of a lane, and if there is a turn lane adjacent or another lane of traffic headed the same direction, this is where I usually am, no matter the speed of automobile traffic or the difference in our speeds. :thumb:

catonec 11-03-13 12:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spivonious (Post 16212025)
Street only. Sidewalks are for walking.

+3

sidewalks are for pushing baby strollers, children on scooters, dog walkers, mailmen......

daihard 11-03-13 01:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the fly (Post 16212106)
street for me 99.5%. i will gladly take the sidewalk at a couple iffy places/times though, even though i'll look completely ridiculous, at least i will remain upright and in one piece.

+1

The only sidewalk I take is the one block that leads to the bike cage at the office. I ride on the sidewalk there simply because it's a one-way street against my direction. (FWIW, it's legal to ride on the sidewalk here.)

tim24k 11-03-13 06:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catonec (Post 16214613)
+3

sidewalks are for pushing baby strollers, children on scooters, dog walkers, mailmen......

spot on:thumb:

jyl 11-03-13 09:08 AM

I will ride the sidewalk for a short distance at the end or start of my trip, like from the nearest driveway to the door. Otherwise I stay off the sidewalk. It is a very slow place to ride, dangerous if any pedestrians are around, and often illegal. Very occasionally if I find myself on a section of road that is too dangerous to ride, I'll escape to the sidewalk, either walking or scootering or riding slowly, but this doesn't happen twice. I learn and don't go that route again. There is almost never a destination with only one road to get there.

For people who ride sidewalks regularly, I have to ask:
- Do you ride >5 mph? Riding much faster than that is dangerous, among pedestrians and cars in/out of driveways and people darting out from shop doors.
- Wouldn't it be faster to take an alternate route, on roads, where you can ride 15-20 mph? Even if it is 3X longer.

MEversbergII 11-03-13 12:36 PM

Street 99% of the time now. I used to do a street/sidewalk hybrid due to where I used to live (faster/easier taking the sidewalk up the mile to the base than crossing morning traffic), but one morning I encountered an ear-phone wearing ped and in avoiding them ended up doing an endo and busting my front tyre to hell. Almost pure street after that. The only sidewalk I take is the one near the local CVS, because it leads to several contiguous parking lots that gets me back to my current place. It measures about 5' long.

M.

EDIT: https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...8&z=17&iwloc=A

That spot. I take the parking lots to the NW of it on the way to and from most times.

CommuteCommando 11-03-13 12:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ecnar (Post 16211985)
During my ride to work, I like to use the bike lane provided on the street. However, I see a lot of people riding on the sidewalk. I know there are certain sections where it is safer to get off the street and onto the sidewalk for a second or two. What is your preference street , sidewalk, or street when a bike lane is provided?
I have a Mongoose Ledge 2.1
Thanks,

There are very few cases where I will get on a sidewalk. I know my route and these are very exceptional cases. Sidewalks that cross high density areas with lots of driveways are very dangerous unless you ride at walking speed. Doing it in the direction opposite the flow of street traffic borders on suicidal.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rob22315 (Post 16213934)
No, YOU can walk, I will continue to ride up the hill via the sidewalk. I don't terrorize pedestrians and don't feed the hate. Most of this is a matter of attitude and common sense, not rules.

This is one of the very few cases I ride the sidewalk. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3623271
*It is up hill
*My speed is rarely over 10MPH because of the hill
*I have never encountered a pedestrian on it (I did once see a cyclist coming my way on it. He was being cautious and It seemed to me that he couldn't wait to clear that section of road and get back in the street-Sidewalk on other side was closed due to construction at the time)
*there is no cross traffic for this entire section

Look at the street view. It is three lanes, no shoulder, and vehicle speeds in excess of 40. There are bike lanes leading to it, and after it. I use those.

FBinNY 11-03-13 01:26 PM

Street only. Discounting the issue of avoiding, scaring or just being rude to the pedestrians who belong there, sidewalk riding means a curb at every corner. It also means potentially entering intersections from a place that cars don't expect me, or crossing active driveways faster and at poor angle of vision. All in all riding in the street with traffic is far and away safer, except for small children on "sidewalk" bikes.

That said, my business is on a one way street, and I'll often use the empty sidewalk for the last half block to avoiding going around the block (especially if it's raining).

turky lurkey 11-03-13 03:57 PM

To me it seems pretty hard to believe that someone can be an avid cyclist and "never" ride on a sidewalk, unless they ride the same route all the time that doesn't require.. Of course as a general rule the street is the best option and should be used most of the time. I think cycling is like most things in life in that wisdom needs to be used in every situation to do what is best for the given situation. If I have an option of riding up a long steep hill on a road with with no shoulder and multiple lanes of cars speeding along at 50-60mph or riding up the deserted sidewalk next to it, do some of you really think I should take the busy street? Which solution would be worse for the reputation of cyclists? I'll take the sidewalk, and in fact, I do everyday. On the other hand, perhaps the reason why we cannot agree on this discussion is because we live in different cities, or rural areas, therefore, we deal with different situations.

Mr. Hairy Legs 11-03-13 04:08 PM

Just 5 minutes ago I nearly ran over a kid who came flying into a crosswalk from the sidewalk. If you are sidewalk riding, at least stop at every intersection and look.

FBinNY 11-03-13 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turky lurkey (Post 16215982)
To me it seems pretty hard to believe that someone can be an avid cyclist and "never" ride on a sidewalk.

You're right. Never is a very strong word and most of us who say "never" really mean very rarely, or only in exceptional situations. Infer "almost" in front of never in most posts, unless the poster or syntax makes it clear that never means never.

turky lurkey 11-03-13 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FBinNY (Post 16216030)
You're right. Never is a very strong word and most of us who say "never" really mean very rarely, or only in exceptional situations. Infer "almost" in front of never in most posts, unless the poster or syntax makes it clear that never means never.

True, and actually I did notice that you didn't use the word never in your street only post, and you even gave an exception to the rule example. Some people have given some literal "never" blanket statements. I suppose maybe they do actually always get off the bike and walk. And your right, every post cannot be taken as entirely literal, or as someones concrete opinion.

Ghost Ryder 11-03-13 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turky lurkey (Post 16215982)
To me it seems pretty hard to believe that someone can be an avid cyclist and "never" ride on a sidewalk. Of course as a general rule the street is the best option and should be used most of the time. I think cycling is like most things in life in that wisdom needs to be used in every situation to do what is best for the given situation. If I have an option of riding up a long steep hill on a road with with no shoulder and multiple lanes of cars speeding along at 50-60mph or riding up the deserted sidewalk next to it, do some of you really think I should take the busy street? Which solution would be worse for the reputation of cyclists? I'll take the sidewalk, and in fact, I do everyday. On the other hand, perhaps the reason why we cannot agree on this discussion is because we live in different cities, or rural areas, therefore, we deal with different situations.

How is it "hard to believe"?
As an avid cyclist, I practise following the rules of the road.
Cars have no problems passing slow cars in the right/curb lane, what's the difference whe its a bike?
I never have a problem with this when I'm driving, in fact I have more courtesy toward cyclist who ride on the road, than I do on the sidewalk.

Is there a law or minimum speed limit a cyclist must follow going up a hill?
Not that I know of, so for me to carry on @ my own pace, I'm following the rules of the road, & staying within my local laws.
If I feel the need to use the sidewalk I dismount. How hard is that to understand? Even if its deserted I'll "scoot" with one leg unclipped using that to propel me where I need to go.
Its common courtesy, & common sense. Its a sidewalk where we're meant to walk.
If someone is crossing the street do you weave around them like you would when you ride your bike on the sidewalk?

I'm glad theres a few who agree with me on this subject.
"Its hard to believe" there's so many who disagree.
:rolleyes:

Again not telling any of you not to use the sidewalk, this is just my opinion.
The more you use the road, the more comfortable you get using it, you find it much easier to map out your route too.
Like all things, the more you practice, the better you'll be.

Ghost Ryder 11-03-13 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turky lurkey (Post 16216054)
True, and actually I did notice that you didn't use the word never in your street only post, and you even gave an exception to the rule example. Some people have given some literal "never" blanket statements. I suppose maybe they do actually always get off the bike and walk. And your right, every post cannot be taken as entirely literal, or as someones concrete opinion.

There are exceptions to everything.
What's wrong with me dismounting & walking?

dynaryder 11-03-13 05:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder (Post 16213797)
"Walk of shame" is a figure of speech.

Yes,I know. The way you used it came off as condescending.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder (Post 16213797)
Just cause the sign says 35mph doesn't mean you need to do 35mph either. If you can't keep up just walk on the sidewalk like a pedestrian.

Or ride on the sidewalk and move faster. If there are no peds,this isn't and issue.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder (Post 16213797)
You don't think I have hills to deal with where I'm from?

I don't think you have to deal with the drivers we do. Rob22315 and I are both in DC.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder (Post 16213797)
At the end of the day, riding on the sidewalk is against the law in many countries.

Not ours. Not in DC(except the downtown BID),and not in Montgomery County,MD,where the hill I mentioned is located.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder (Post 16213797)
You are not doing anything wrong going @ a pace you can handle going up a hill. If drivers have complaints, let them air them to congress.

You're not getting the point. If some of the drivers around here have an issue with a cyclist,they're not going to complain,they're going to do something. They're going to pass too close to teach you a lesson. Or brake check you. Or ride inches off your rear wheel and hold down the horn button. While they may not be trying to hurt you,if anything goes wrong,if they miscalculate or you move,then you can get seriously hurt or killed. And it'll realistically be about a 50/50 chance that if they hit you they'll stick around. And if they do,there's a pretty good chance the cop will find you at fault. This is what we have to deal with here:
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/...u-are-a-biker/
http://www.thewashcycle.com/2010/04/...1st-st-nw.html
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...ke-collision-/

You don't live in DC,you don't know exactly what we deal with. If you want to give your opinion,fine,but don't criticize what we do your try to offer us advice because you think we're wrong.

Ghost Ryder 11-03-13 05:10 PM

I never said you guys were wrong, I just don't agree with you guys. I never once said you had to do as I say.
You make it seem like DC is the worst place to be a cyclist, or you're somewhat more prone to "road ragers". We all have to deal with this crap where we live. If its so dangerous for you wear a camera.
We have some of the most stupid drivers where I'm from, you should see the amount of cycling related deaths we get yearly.
No one is immune to this except maybe the folks in the Netherlands.
You're crazy if you believe you have it the worst.

haplorrhine 11-03-13 05:13 PM

I guess it depends on how long the sidewalk stretches uninterupted. You can't ride through crosswalks, even slowly. The car won't stop until after it hits you.

CommuteCommando 11-03-13 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turky lurkey (Post 16215982)
To me it seems pretty hard to believe that someone can be an avid cyclist and "never" ride on a sidewalk, unless they ride the same route all the time that doesn't require.. Of course as a general rule the street is the best option and should be used most of the time. I think cycling is like most things in life in that wisdom needs to be used in every situation to do what is best for the given situation. If I have an option of riding up a long steep hill on a road with with no shoulder and multiple lanes of cars speeding along at 50-60mph or riding up the deserted sidewalk next to it, do some of you really think I should take the busy street? Which solution would be worse for the reputation of cyclists? I'll take the sidewalk, and in fact, I do everyday. On the other hand, perhaps the reason why we cannot agree on this discussion is because we live in different cities, or rural areas, therefore, we deal with different situations.

Yes.

turky lurkey 11-03-13 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghost Ryder (Post 16216064)
There are exceptions to everything.
What's wrong with me dismounting & walking?

Never intended to infer that there was something wrong with walking, I just meant that it is probably the only way a cyclist can possible go without ever riding on a sidewalk. If walking is the best thing to do in a given situation, then by all means walk. I would, and have. :thumb:

steve0257 11-04-13 08:06 PM

OK, I have to admit that I will use the sidewalk when climbing some hills. But you have to understand. I'm really bad at hills. I HAVE been passed by joggers while climbing some hills. Somehow, when going that slow, it just doesn't feel right to take a traffic lane.


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