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-   -   Sidewalk bicycling (https://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/100823-sidewalk-bicycling.html)

cderalow 09-23-12 10:06 PM

When riding alone, I'm in the road.

When owing my kids or one is riding on the back seat, it's sidewalks on roads with 35+mph speed limits and roads in residential areas 25mph limits)

gpolly1 09-25-12 12:49 PM

When I commute to work, it's five-thirty in the morning, so I ride on the road with lights and helmet. But on my way home, it would be a death wish (literally a fellow co-worker died commuting to work a few years ago). There is no bike lane, so I use the sidewalk. On my ride home I only pass about 1 or 2 people on the sidewalk and I pass in the grass. In my head I'm trying to think about how many driveways there are and I really can't think of any. My only obstacle is a school that is letting out around the same time and that affect me either way. If I have to ride on the sidewalk, pedestrians have the right-of-way, period. Just be safe and be an ambassador for other bicyclists everywhere.

bandit1990 09-26-12 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cderalow (Post 14766936)
When riding alone, I'm in the road.

When owing my kids or one is riding on the back seat, it's sidewalks on roads with 35+mph speed limits and roads in residential areas 25mph limits)

Sidewalks are great for what they are...a crutch. I'm teaching my 7-yr old and 10-yr old how to ride in the streets, how to aviod door zones, and that they need to respect cars coming up from behind. Letting people ride on the sidewalks does NOT promote good cycling, and perhaps inhibits it. You are telling motorists that bicycles need to be on the side/sidewalk in order to ride in their general direction. Being in the road, which you are entitled to, is not a bad thing. Just don't think you are bigger than any car out there.

psi 09-27-12 04:41 PM

I live in the suburbs and I ride on the sidewalk with small wheeled folding bikes sometimes. I'm always careful passing pedestrians and I generally walk the bike across busy intersections. Overall I think it can be pretty safe for everyone involved if you keep your full attention on avoiding trouble. If I want to go fast and cover some distance I use the road and often a bigger bike, but generally it feels riskier than riding on the sidewalk. On the road there's a constant risk of getting clipped by a passing car, but on the sidewalk you generally only have to worry about cars at intersections and driveways.

bandit1990 09-28-12 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psi (Post 14781755)
I live in the suburbs and I ride on the sidewalk with small wheeled folding bikes sometimes. I'm always careful passing pedestrians and I generally walk the bike across busy intersections. Overall I think it can be pretty safe for everyone involved if you keep your full attention on avoiding trouble. If I want to go fast and cover some distance I use the road and often a bigger bike, but generally it feels riskier than riding on the sidewalk. On the road there's a constant risk of getting clipped by a passing car, but on the sidewalk you generally only have to worry about cars at intersections and driveways.

You all need to get a clue about riding in the U.S. If you are over the age of 12, get the hell of the sidewalk and start becoming part of traffic. Yes, it sucks, but do you want to be known as the idiot that rides his/her bike on the sidewalk because you don't know any bettter?

lopek77 09-28-12 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bandit1990 (Post 14784978)
You all need to get a clue about riding in the U.S. If you are over the age of 12, get the hell of the sidewalk and start becoming part of traffic. Yes, it sucks, but do you want to be known as the idiot that rides his/her bike on the sidewalk because you don't know any bettter?

You are so wrong on so many levels ... Please be more open minded...

delcrossv 09-28-12 02:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bandit1990 (Post 14784978)
You all need to get a clue about riding in the U.S. If you are over the age of 12, get the hell of the sidewalk and start becoming part of traffic. Yes, it sucks, but do you want to be known as the idiot that rides his/her bike on the sidewalk because you don't know any bettter?

Quote:

Originally Posted by lopek77 (Post 14784990)
You are so wrong on so many levels ... Please be more open minded...

+1 Lopek. Never let principle get in the way of practicality.

lopek77 09-28-12 06:51 PM

Some videos of more or less dangerous situations on the road and couple from riding on the sidewalk...
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...ExKM10B6oCx3xp
I will always choose the safer and more convenient option. Where I live, there is many roads in a very bad shape and no shoulder. It's so bad that full suspension mountain bike with fat tires won't make it smooth or safer to ride by any means. I just can't imagine someone riding there on a hybrid or road bike. On other hand, there is many shared trails, sidewalks and bicycle routes. These are not perfect, but there is very little pedestrian traffic and most of them are smoother than roads, PLUS, you don't have to worry about someone hitting/clipping you.
I have to add that in MI cyclists are not "FULL" road users. We have to ride next to the edge of the road, and most drivers seems to think that squirrel life is more important than cyclist life. I just heard on NPR that over half of all cycling fatalities are from cars hitting cyclist from the rear... Another big chunk is for cut offs and drivers ignoring stop signs or red light... I wonder how many cyclists died on the sidewalk???
Now, cyclist from NYC is reading this and thinking WTF is wrong with this guy? Conclusion - every place will be different...
Keep biking and stay safe!

work4bike 09-30-12 07:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lopek77 (Post 14785995)
Some videos of more or less dangerous situations on the road and couple from riding on the sidewalk...
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...ExKM10B6oCx3xp

Whoever is in these videos needs to stay off the roads.

psi 09-30-12 08:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bandit1990 (Post 14784978)
You all need to get a clue about riding in the U.S. If you are over the age of 12, get the hell of the sidewalk and start becoming part of traffic. Yes, it sucks, but do you want to be known as the idiot that rides his/her bike on the sidewalk because you don't know any bettter?

Where did I say I lived in the US? I don't. As I said in the post you quoted though, I do also ride a road bike on the road (generally on a carefully planned route). I honestly don't care who might think I'm an idiot as long as my actions don't create dangerous situations for myself and others. I live minutes from a major highway and a mall, and the number of impatient and inattentive commuters, shoppers and high schoolers on the roads is staggering. There is no way I'm going to take a route that requires me to cross 3 lanes of virtually nonstop traffic to make a left turn onto another busy road, just to make a short trip to a local store a little faster. It's more important to me to have a low stress, uneventful trip that brings me back to my wife and two young kids unscathed.

bandit1990 10-01-12 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psi (Post 14789924)
Where did I say I lived in the US? I don't. As I said in the post you quoted though, I do also ride a road bike on the road (generally on a carefully planned route). I honestly don't care who might think I'm an idiot as long as my actions don't create dangerous situations for myself and others. I live minutes from a major highway and a mall, and the number of impatient and inattentive commuters, shoppers and high schoolers on the roads is staggering. There is no way I'm going to take a route that requires me to cross 3 lanes of virtually nonstop traffic to make a left turn onto another busy road, just to make a short trip to a local store a little faster. It's more important to me to have a low stress, uneventful trip that brings me back to my wife and two young kids unscathed.

I didn't mean to offend, Sir. Just pointing out the facts of life here. If you ride a road bike where I live (northern California), then it assumed that you are an idiot -- just trying to appease those that think driving a Prius is the greatest thing since (whatever you believe to be the greatest thing in the world). However, I will stand by ground trying to teach my children the correct way to ride a bicycle, including riding on the roadways. You can ride your bike in traffic, turn left at intersections, and be safe without feeling endangered. Be conspicuous. Stand out. Don't get "victims mentality". Good golly, I sound like a "cyclist". Forgive me. Embrace the challenge of being on a bicycle and doing something that 90% of other motorists wish they were doing.

psi 10-01-12 08:37 PM

I'd have to say I agree with most of that advice on road cycling, but I don't think sidewalk cycling has to be an either/or proposition. If taking the sidewalks will simplify my trip or that's just what I'm in the mood to do, I will take the bike suitable for sidewalk riding. Most of the roads around here have been designed with cyclists and pedestrians as an afterthought, and there are certain spots (e.g. around highway onramps) where I believe poorly thought out infrastructure and amount of traffic creates unacceptable danger for me as a cyclist even if I do everything "right." Risk perception is all relative of course, but being a little paranoid about avoiding injury has not steered me wrong so far.

northernlights 10-01-12 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bandit1990 (Post 14795604)
You can ride your bike in traffic, turn left at

intersections, and be safe without feeling endangered. Be conspicuous. Stand out.

would you ride you bike on these streets? you would have to be out of your mind.



and this is what the streets are generally like in the US. in a word, terrifying for anyone not in a car. hell, it scares me even when I'm in a car. so I don't blame anyone for riding on the sidewalk. I sure wouldn't want my school-age son or daughter riding their bikes on these streets. it is far too dangerous. but yes this is what tragically passes for pedestrian and bike-friendly in the US. that traffic engineer should have been a comedian.

Astrozombie 10-01-12 11:02 PM

People around here can drive like maniacs so i stay on the sidewalk/side streets until i get out into nicer areas.

(I get the feeling some scumbags would even try to make you crash or hit you on purpose just for laughs, even if it hasn't happened yet)

bandit1990 10-10-12 05:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Astrozombie (Post 14796784)
People around here can drive like maniacs so i stay on the sidewalk/side streets until i get out into nicer areas.

(I get the feeling some scumbags would even try to make you crash or hit you on purpose just for laughs, even if it hasn't happened yet)

You are a victim. Victim to your own lack of road sense. What you describe is as "making you crash or hit you on purpose" is ludicrious. Ride on the road, show drivers that you know what you are doing, and you will earn respect.

psi 10-17-12 09:35 AM

It's not like those things have never happened, there really are drivers who have intentionally killed or injured cyclists or pedestrians with their cars. By the same token though, a malicious person might attempt to harm you in any number of other situations, and even staying in your house 24 hours a day is not going to eliminate that possibility.

Personally my bigger concerns are with the drivers who are just inattentive or incompetent. I do ride on the road and it's my right to, but I recognize that the chances of being killed while doing so are non-negligible even if I follow every law, make myself very visible, and ride with a well-thought-out defensive strategy.

bandit1990 10-22-12 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psi (Post 14850641)
It's not like those things have never happened, there really are drivers who have intentionally killed or injured cyclists or pedestrians with their cars. By the same token though, a malicious person might attempt to harm you in any number of other situations, and even staying in your house 24 hours a day is not going to eliminate that possibility.

Personally my bigger concerns are with the drivers who are just inattentive or incompetent. I do ride on the road and it's my right to, but I recognize that the chances of being killed while doing so are non-negligible even if I follow every law, make myself very visible, and ride with a well-thought-out defensive strategy.

I'm sorry, PSI, but why are you suggesting that others should ride on the sidewalk? You state that you ride on the road. Everyone except children should ride one the road. Fear can be managed. If you have the courage to get out and ride on the road, do so. Yes, you will get "close calls", and "honks", and "get off the road, you Fu***". If we truely want equality with the cars, then we have to get out there and be seen. On the road.

Astrozombie 10-25-12 03:48 AM

I went for a quick ride on my cheapo bike and used all sidewalk. Coming home I turn down this nice street i like to ride down pretty fast, it passes my old elementary school. I hop onto the road and what are the odds that then some jerk decides to start honking and nearly clip me?
I've noticed that the neighborhood you're in really matters, as soon as i get to the nicer areas there are less and less crazy drivers.

Some of them even wait for you to go! Wow! And once as a i was walking across a street, some BMW actually BACKED up out of the crosswalk (Pasadena) i was in shock!
Ride through some industrial cities and sure enough it was the first time i ever got yelled at, totally saw that one coming :roflmao2:

Schwinnhund 10-29-12 02:32 AM

It's sort of academic here in Georgia. According to state law, a bicycle is a vehicle with all the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle. It is against the law to operate a vehicle on a sidewalk in this state, even in Atlanta (LOL).

psi 10-29-12 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bandit1990 (Post 14868475)
I'm sorry, PSI, but why are you suggesting that others should ride on the sidewalk? You state that you ride on the road. Everyone except children should ride one the road. Fear can be managed. If you have the courage to get out and ride on the road, do so. Yes, you will get "close calls", and "honks", and "get off the road, you Fu***". If we truely want equality with the cars, then we have to get out there and be seen. On the road.

Maybe you can find a quote from this thread where I suggested that others "should" ride on the sidewalk (?), but as far as I can recall I said no such thing. I've made about four posts in this thread prior to this one, and they all basically just state my own rationale for riding on the sidewalk some of the time. You, on the other hand, actually have clearly stated where you think others "should" be riding a few different times in this thread, and I have no particular problem with that. You apparently disagree with what I've said, which is fine, but I'd ask that you not put words in my mouth.

xheat 11-05-12 04:42 AM

I live in Phoenix, Arizona. My whole life i thought the place to ride a bike was the sidewalk. There was even one instance in which I was mad that there was a cyclist in the lane but i moved over to the next lane to pass. When I bought a cheap bike a year ago i was riding on the sidewalks because here in phoenix I have only seen about 2 or 3 max people riding on the road and it seemed dangerous to me at the time because drivers in Phoenix can be pretty bad. Then I started saving money to upgrade to a bike from an LBS but to justify my purchase I started reading on these forums to learn as much as I could. Once I bought a new bike I started riding my bike on the road where it felt safe to do so. I have been getting better at riding on the road and gaining confidence.

xheat 11-05-12 05:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noisebeam (Post 3133337)
Here is a City of Phoenix, AZ 2000 study - with data on number of sidewalk and x-walk accidents.
Check pages 12 and 16
http://azbikelaw.org/Bikestudy00.ppt

Al

Wow! i went through the slides and its scary to see all the numbers. Based on that info, its safer in phoenix to ride on sidewalks and ride the wrong direction. I hope by now those numbers have changed.

agent pombero 11-12-12 11:03 PM

I hate people who ride on crowded sidewalks esp the people who roll 10+ mph.

byogman 12-03-12 12:24 PM

In Pittsburgh we have some fun hills to bike on. There is one moderately steep and long uphill on a major corridor I can't avoid on my way back from work without going far out of my way where I do ride on the sidewalk.

It's slower, bumpier, more tiring, and requires weaving around pedestrians and obstacles. And when the uphill flattens out temporarily you can't ride at the speed you want, and you have to approach intersections very slowly because cars don't see you very well. That, and in business districts (I go through a very short one on the climb) it is illegal. I absolutely agree with the general guidance that riding in the street is safer (just get a good rear blinker!).

But here's the thing, I think if you're in lane with real car traffic and can't move at, say, half their speed for an extended period (20 seconds or more) then the chance of something really bad happening to you either due to driver inattention, dangerously close passing, or outright road rage ceases to be negligible. So I try REALLY try to avoid that.

More bike lanes going uphill please!

rliu 12-14-12 08:50 AM

from personal experience, besides being more dangereous to ride on sidewalks, I learned it the hard way as I was pulled over by a cop car for getting on the sidewalk one morning.
The road I get on is right by the busiest highway on Long Island and often there are no peds walking so stupid me trying to avoid fighting all the cars on the service road I got on the sidewalk and was pulled over within minutes. The police checked my ID and everthing while I stood and gave me a ticket to appear in court for a fine of $35 (they even said can't just send in the fine rather must appear in court).
Fortunately days before my court date I got a letter from the court dismissing my offense, I guess since I was a first time offender.
But NEVER again will I ride on the sidewalk!


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