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  1. #1
    genec genec's Avatar
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    How to get sidewalk riders to stop???

    So how do I get all the sidewalk riders in my part of town to stop riding on the sidewalks? It sets up the expectation of motorists that I am doing it wrong when I ride vehicularly in the street.

    Thus the guys riding "wrong" feel they are doing it right, while I get the honks and yelling...

    I have passed out fliers at local bike shops and the library, that point to the Bike Expert web page... But I doubt that these utility riders and students even go to bike shops.

    Certainly I can't stop each and every one and try to convince them to ride correctly...

    So I bear the brunt of the motorists opinions that the "other cyclists" are doing it right and I am doing it wrong.

    This is one clear case where more butts on saddles does NOT pay off.

    BTW for the record, there are no bike lanes involved. These are narrow old streets lined with parked cars.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    you can't.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  3. #3
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Get rid of the ADA ramps.

  4. #4
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    In my home town as a kid riding on the sidewalk was required. In this town you are supposed to ride in the street IF you are over 14. Many parents require their kids to stay on the sidewalk where it is available. We kids used to sneak into the street (smoother, quicker), but if caught by the police, it was a one-week impoundment and parental notification (the worst part).

    Motorists are going to hate our slow speed impeding them regardless of people using the sidewalk. They know we are allowed out there, and maybe that we are required to be out there, but it doesn't matter to them. I applaud the flyers, etc., but I think as long as parents know the hazards of bikes versus cars, they will keep requiring their kids to ride off the road when they can. I have had some close calls, but ironically, I have been hit only when I was on the sidewalk (twice) riding there as required by my parents. I can still see and describe the bottom of a 1950 Dodge.

    The bike violation I hate the most is riding the wrong way against traffic. As a former State Trooper, I used to stop every one that I saw and hand out pamphlets on safe bike riding to them with an explanation of the rules. However, this is a university town, and the bike violations are incredible - wrong way riding, no lights at night, darting in and out, running red lights, sidewalk riding, etc. The only good thing, is that motorists are used to bikes - and that's a good thing.

  5. #5
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    High quality, on road bike infrastructure.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelJay
    I applaud the flyers, etc., but I think as long as parents know the hazards of bikes versus cars, they will keep requiring their kids to ride off the road when they can. I have had some close calls, but ironically, I have been hit only when I was on the sidewalk (twice) riding there as required by my parents. I can still see and describe the bottom of a 1950 Dodge.
    Sounds like the parents don't know as much as they think they do, or they gave their kids the harmfully wrong impression that riding on the sidewalk removes all of the hazards of cycling in traffic.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Why is this in the Vehicular Cycling subforum anyway? Seems like more of a general advocacy issue to me.

  8. #8
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951
    Why is this in the Vehicular Cycling subforum anyway? Seems like more of a general advocacy issue to me.
    Because it is an issue of vehicular cycling... vice sidewalk cycling.

    For vehicular cycling to work and be accepted, it must be accepted by not only motorists but other cyclists.

    One of the things that is often mentioned by VCs is that motorists will tend to be more accepting of the vehicular way when the cyclists they see are all riding in that form. So what happens when just the opposite occurs, such as in my area, where the majority of cyclists that motorists see are curb huggers or sidewalk riders... the VC rider stands alone. This is not to say I am the only vehicular cyclist in the area... not by any means, but I am a minority in this area.

    The conditions are such that the right tire track is the best place to ride... the lanes are wide, but lined with parked cars... so to stay of the door zone (which runs for miles) I ride the right tire track... sometimes on my fast bike, sometimes loaded down on my commuter. I get more than my fair share of harassment (as evidenced by my rants here on BF) from motorists that expect cyclists to ride on the sidewalk... as many cyclists here do. I am restricted to using the main roads... as they are the only ones that cross from mesa to mesa (side streets dead end in canyons) so to go anywhere... I must ride the right tire track on the main roads which apparently motorists "dislike."

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951
    Sounds like the parents don't know as much as they think they do, or they gave their kids the harmfully wrong impression that riding on the sidewalk removes all of the hazards of cycling in traffic.
    So you would put 10 year olds on the street with traffic moving at 50MPH?

    This is not to say that BL are a solution... the real solution is to have motorists drive slower. Good luck with that.

  10. #10
    double diamond tram girl geoGraphicFTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelJay
    In my home town as a kid riding on the sidewalk was required. In this town you are supposed to ride in the street IF you are over 14.
    where are you from?
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian
    I admire ladies that can post in SS/Fixie.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    So you would put 10 year olds on the street with traffic moving at 50MPH?

    This is not to say that BL are a solution... the real solution is to have motorists drive slower. Good luck with that.
    No, I didn't say that. But ten year olds (the ones I have experience with, and even some younger kids) are mature enough to be able to handle vehicular cycling on neighborhood streets where traffic volumes and speeds are low/slow enough. Just like a beginner cyclist of any age should be encouraged to get their start cycling, and a beginner driver for that matter. There's no need to take the sidewalk and it present unnecessary risks to try and do so with all of the driveway crossings.

    The solution to kids riding safely down arterials? Maturity and experience riding in traffic, ideally starting out on the same bike as an experienced adult cyclist then eventually graduating up to doing it on their own bike with supervision and finally on their own. Just like I learned how to drive (unfortunately, not how I learned how to cycle but neither of my parents were cyclists).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Because it is an issue of vehicular cycling... vice sidewalk cycling.

    For vehicular cycling to work and be accepted, it must be accepted by not only motorists but other cyclists.

    One of the things that is often mentioned by VCs is that motorists will tend to be more accepting of the vehicular way when the cyclists they see are all riding in that form. So what happens when just the opposite occurs, such as in my area, where the majority of cyclists that motorists see are curb huggers or sidewalk riders... the VC rider stands alone. This is not to say I am the only vehicular cyclist in the area... not by any means, but I am a minority in this area.

    The conditions are such that the right tire track is the best place to ride... the lanes are wide, but lined with parked cars... so to stay of the door zone (which runs for miles) I ride the right tire track... sometimes on my fast bike, sometimes loaded down on my commuter. I get more than my fair share of harassment (as evidenced by my rants here on BF) from motorists that expect cyclists to ride on the sidewalk... as many cyclists here do. I am restricted to using the main roads... as they are the only ones that cross from mesa to mesa (side streets dead end in canyons) so to go anywhere... I must ride the right tire track on the main roads which apparently motorists "dislike."
    I can see why you put this thread in this forum. Thanks for the explanation.

  13. #13
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    So how do I get all the sidewalk riders in my part of town to stop riding on the sidewalks? It sets up the expectation of motorists that I am doing it wrong when I ride vehicularly in the street.

    Thus the guys riding "wrong" feel they are doing it right, while I get the honks and yelling...

    I have passed out fliers at local bike shops and the library, that point to the Bike Expert web page... But I doubt that these utility riders and students even go to bike shops.
    You as an individual can't effectively "tell" strangers what to do. The best you can do with strangers is set a good example in the way you ride.

    I ride on the roadway with my family, my son in the bike trailer, all over neighborhood streets where sidewalk cycling is common. I hope it encourages the sidewalk cyclists to consider the legitimacy, safety and efficiency of roadway use.

    The city of Cary, NC has published a bike map that is popular with beginning cyclists. Bike shops hand it out. The map includes safe cycling information on the back. It says "Don't ride your bike on sidewalks":

    http://www.townofcary.org/depts/dsde...cleplanmap.htm

    Organized cycling events aimed at beginners also help get them onto the roadway and off of sidewalks. The annual "Cary Cycling Celebration" has a number of short beginner rides around the neighborhoods. I usually lead one or two of these in the afternoon after riding a long route in the morning.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    So how do I get all the sidewalk riders in my part of town to stop riding on the sidewalks? It sets up the expectation of motorists that I am doing it wrong when I ride vehicularly in the street.

    Thus the guys riding "wrong" feel they are doing it right, while I get the honks and yelling...

    I have passed out fliers at local bike shops and the library, that point to the Bike Expert web page... But I doubt that these utility riders and students even go to bike shops.

    Certainly I can't stop each and every one and try to convince them to ride correctly...

    So I bear the brunt of the motorists opinions that the "other cyclists" are doing it right and I am doing it wrong.

    This is one clear case where more butts on saddles does NOT pay off.

    BTW for the record, there are no bike lanes involved. These are narrow old streets lined with parked cars.
    If sidewalk riding is legal (or even if it is illegal but not enforced) and you don't see a prone body at every interesection, then what is it to you that they ride where they are most comfortable? Why is what they are doing labeled "incorrect" and what you are doing labeled "correct"?

    I suggest you quit trying to police how other people ride and just bear the yelling as the price you pay for a faster ride on the street. Isn't this how we cyclists do it nowadays?
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  15. #15
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    If sidewalk riding is legal (or even if it is illegal but not enforced) and you don't see a prone body at every interesection, then what is it to you that they ride where they are most comfortable? Why is what they are doing labeled "incorrect" and what you are doing labeled "correct"?

    I suggest you quit trying to police how other people ride and just bear the yelling as the price you pay for a faster ride on the street. Isn't this how we cyclists do it nowadays?
    But Brian... "cyclists fare best when they act and are treated like drivers of vehicles..." where is my "faring best?"

    Seems like those acting like fast "rolling peds" are faring better.

  16. #16
    double diamond tram girl geoGraphicFTD's Avatar
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    I'm gonna weigh in with my pet peeve. I usually only frequent the ssfg forum, but I'm branching out now, and here seems to be the perfect place for me to state how much cyclists on sidewalks bother me.
    In my suburban hometown where I worked civilian bike patrol for 2 summers, I kinda couldn't care less. most of the riders on sidewalks were young, and traffic was often fast on busier roads, so I don't blame them cus they weren't getting in anyone's way.
    but in the city it's another story. the sidewalks are crowded with pedestrians. my friend who commutes to work on a used department store bike refuses to ride in the street. I've told him it's safer and faster, and a cop has told him to get off the sidewalk at least once. nope, he's just like "I'm gonna do whatever I want, I ride in the sidewalk, always have always will." same with people who ride on the sidewalk so as to be able to go the wrong way on a one-way street. it really does not that any longer to go one block north or south and ride the right direction in the street (actually, it's probably faster).
    ok, sorry for the rant, thanks for listening.
    I don't have any intention of single-handedly changing these patterns. But I wish the cops would stop more cyclists they see on the sidewalks and make them get in the street.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    But Brian... "cyclists fare best when they act and are treated like drivers of vehicles..." where is my "faring best?"

    Seems like those acting like fast "rolling peds" are faring better.
    Interesting observation. What of it?
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoGraphicFTD
    I'm gonna weigh in with my pet peeve. I usually only frequent the ssfg forum, but I'm branching out now, and here seems to be the perfect place for me to state how much cyclists on sidewalks bother me.
    In my suburban hometown where I worked civilian bike patrol for 2 summers, I kinda couldn't care less. most of the riders on sidewalks were young, and traffic was often fast on busier roads, so I don't blame them cus they weren't getting in anyone's way.
    but in the city it's another story. the sidewalks are crowded with pedestrians. my friend who commutes to work on a used department store bike refuses to ride in the street. I've told him it's safer and faster, and a cop has told him to get off the sidewalk at least once. nope, he's just like "I'm gonna do whatever I want, I ride in the sidewalk, always have always will." same with people who ride on the sidewalk so as to be able to go the wrong way on a one-way street. it really does not that any longer to go one block north or south and ride the right direction in the street (actually, it's probably faster).
    ok, sorry for the rant, thanks for listening.
    I don't have any intention of single-handedly changing these patterns. But I wish the cops would stop more cyclists they see on the sidewalks and make them get in the street.
    Me thinks that even I would be hesitent to ride on the street with a used department store bike. And when you make the claim that it is safer, you've lost all credibility with him. You can argue that the street is faster and more convenient, but it is incredibly difficult to convince someone it is safer. I've ridden on sidewalks that are so safe that the biggest threat is the crack in the pavement. I've seen sidewalks with driveway intersections every 20 feet. The street is safer than the sidewalk? On a used department store bike? Hardly a universal statement.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  19. #19
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoGraphicFTD
    I'm gonna weigh in with my pet peeve. I usually only frequent the ssfg forum, but I'm branching out now, and here seems to be the perfect place for me to state how much cyclists on sidewalks bother me.
    In my suburban hometown where I worked civilian bike patrol for 2 summers, I kinda couldn't care less. most of the riders on sidewalks were young, and traffic was often fast on busier roads, so I don't blame them cus they weren't getting in anyone's way.
    but in the city it's another story. the sidewalks are crowded with pedestrians. my friend who commutes to work on a used department store bike refuses to ride in the street. I've told him it's safer and faster, and a cop has told him to get off the sidewalk at least once. nope, he's just like "I'm gonna do whatever I want, I ride in the sidewalk, always have always will." same with people who ride on the sidewalk so as to be able to go the wrong way on a one-way street. it really does not that any longer to go one block north or south and ride the right direction in the street (actually, it's probably faster).
    ok, sorry for the rant, thanks for listening.
    I don't have any intention of single-handedly changing these patterns. But I wish the cops would stop more cyclists they see on the sidewalks and make them get in the street.

    These sidewalk riders are not young. They are generally younger than me... but heck I am 51. These are adults. Young adults and older adults.

    The sidewalks here are not filled with pedestrians ("nobody walks in LA... " tends to apply to San Diego too.)

    The issue I am addressing is that I often get the "get on the sidewalk" comment... and no way I can say "it's illegal" when two or three cyclists ride by on the sidewalk... motorists expect cyclists to be on the sidewalks... thus putting me at a disadvantage because I am on the street.

  20. #20
    double diamond tram girl geoGraphicFTD's Avatar
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    ok ok sorry for the "universal statement." I was just ranting. I know of the sidewalks you are talking about that are safer than the streets. they are not the ones in crowded urban environments. this friend's commute to work could be done faster and more conveniently and without pissing pedestrians off if he rode in the street. it would be easy for him to take roads with bike lanes the entire way. gah. there's no point in arguing this one case tho. I basically just wanted to say that in Philadelphia, where the sidewalks are crowded with pedestrians, cyclists should be in the street. After all, it is the law.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian
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  21. #21
    double diamond tram girl geoGraphicFTD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    The issue I am addressing is that I often get the "get on the sidewalk" comment... and no way I can say "it's illegal" when two or three cyclists ride by on the sidewalk... motorists expect cyclists to be on the sidewalks... thus putting me at a disadvantage because I am on the street.
    ok, maybe I used the wrong thread to voice my issue.
    I do understand what you're talking about. I hear it a lot and it sucks but you just gotta keep biking. I have the same right to be in the street as the drivers do. Just the other day I was riding in the right lane of a 4 lane road in which drivers had plenty of room to pass me. Still got beeped at. Sorry, no I'm not gonna go on the MUP, dodging pedestrians on that thing is scarier than getting passed by a speeding truck. ok, more ranting. maybe I better go back to ssfg.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Well, can't argue with the law. Where I rode some of the sidewalks (in Seattle), it was legal and helped a lot with the one way street issue (make a left onto a 4 lane, busy arterial from an uncontrolled, midblock intersection, roll a block, and make another midblock left to get to the top of the one way street leading to my apartment vs. making a right from a wee little sidestreet onto the sidewalk and rolling to the front door).
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoGraphicFTD
    ok, maybe I used the wrong thread to voice my issue.
    I do understand what you're talking about. I hear it a lot and it sucks but you just gotta keep biking. I have the same right to be in the street as the drivers do. Just the other day I was riding in the right lane of a 4 lane road in which drivers had plenty of room to pass me. Still got beeped at. Sorry, no I'm not gonna go on the MUP, dodging pedestrians on that thing is scarier than getting passed by a speeding truck. ok, more ranting. maybe I better go back to ssfg.
    like there's no ranting there... .
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  24. #24
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    Summer sucks. You get all the people riding to get in shape around here and they ride the wrong way down the sidewalk and don't stop at intersections. I have nearly gotten creamed twice this summer when I stopped at a light and some cyclist come flying across the crosswalk and I was moving over to hit the cross button (there are some intersections that will never trigger for my bike) They dont' slow down. They are coming from a blind corner since the fences go right up to the intersections.
    I saw one get hit a few weeks ago, well I should say hit a car. The car stopped was looking left had a clear road and moved out. Cyclist rams her and tumbles over the hood. He got a few yells out before noticing me on my bike walking up and tried to garner my support. I cut him off and told him it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk. It is illegal to cross a sidewalk riding a bike. It is illegal to cross a with dont' cross light lit on the signal and that I had dispatch on the phone and they were sending out a policeman to take statements so he should plan on waiting a few minutes. He was absolutely stunned and then starting ranting on how I was wrong and how I should support cyclist since I am one and what was I doing, he was going to get even with me.
    The lady was very thankful that I was there and supporting her as was the policeman he was worried I was going to blame the motorist. After a few minutes the policeman ended up giving the guy a ride home with the bike as he wasnt' riding with ID. Not sure what happened after that but I never saw it in the police blotter. So I have one motorist who supports VC only a 250 million or so to go in this country and we are all set :-)

  25. #25
    Mistadobalina AGGRO's Avatar
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    I see 2 completely different types of riding here. Road riding where the cyclist is either working out or commuting and then the bunch that is doing their best to get from point A to point B without dying.

    Transients, kids riding to school, Illegals primary mode of transportation, neighbors putting to the store.

    If there's no bike lane I often take the sidewalk while on my cruiser to the licker store

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