But still, what are cyclists to do when they don't feel it's safe to ride in that traffic lane?
When I was in school, we had classes that taught bike safety in school, after school, and in the scouts. We were taught how to ride FRAP and how to take the lane when needed. AFAIK, school kids no longer have classes like this.
Also, when I was a kid there were about half as many cars in the US auto fleet. Speed limits were lower and road designs were less complex. All around, it was less challenging to ride "vehicularly" back in the day.
So I have to be a little more forgiving when I see younger cyclists on the sidewalk. I hope that soon we will have bicycle infrastructure that they find acceptable. I certainly agree with you to a point, that sidewalk riding is far less than perfect. At the least, I encourage everybody who rides frequently to take the time to learn how to ride safely in the street.
Once again we may see eye to eye on younger riders but a cyclists on the side walk should travel no faster than pedestrians. Walking speed is only about 3 miles an hour so you might as well walk.
how often have we seen posts about countries like the Netherlands having a great bike culture and infrastructure? From what I read while locals tend to be somewhat scofflaws they fine people for riding bikes on the sidewalk or foot path. Maybe if we took cycling more seriously we could get local governments to take cycling more seriously. If not when someone drives by and yells, "get off of the road!" Some of these riders can say, "yes sir, I forgot my place."
Here we go again... This question always turns into a debate, & many get offended, or their feelings hurt.
Its illegal in my area, but seniors, & children get the green light from me.
Our infrastructure is not up to par, but its improving every year.
I'm purely road, regardless of the traffic around me.
If I meet up with a friend who is a pedestrian, I dismount, & walk my bike on the sidewalk.
Same goes for anytime I need to use a sidewalk, or busy crosswalk. If its not busy, I unclip 1 foot, & scoot.
Its just common courtesy IMO, people on sidewalks don't expect to encounter cyclists, so it can lead to a messy situation.
My 1st post in this subforum, & my $0.02 regarding this subject.
Not purely car free, but 80-85% car free.
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