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Daughter wants to bike home from school on the left side sidewalk.

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Daughter wants to bike home from school on the left side sidewalk.

Old 03-21-21, 09:51 AM
  #51  
wphamilton
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Thanks for agreeing that riding on the left, toward traffic, is more dangerous.

John
Well, that's a reach because the whole point was that running toward traffic is less dangerous.

But riding towards traffic at regular bike speeds is more dangerous. Riding at walking/jogging speeds, not so much.
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Old 03-21-21, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
But riding towards traffic at regular bike speeds is more dangerous. Riding at walking/jogging speeds, not so much.
Regardless of speed, riding on the roadway surface against the designated direction is still both illegal and more importantly, dangerous to other cyclists who are following the law and established safety practice.

Last edited by UniChris; 03-21-21 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 03-21-21, 10:54 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
But riding towards traffic at regular bike speeds is more dangerous. Riding at walking/jogging speeds, not so much.
So if Iím riding against traffic I can safely ride at 3mph, maybe 4, since the motorists will not be looking in my direction.

I guess it becomes a little academic at this point whether someone is actually riding the bike. Which is probably the best advice for the OP.

John
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Old 03-21-21, 11:28 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
So if I’m riding against traffic I can safely ride at 3mph, maybe 4
In terms of your own safety, perhaps. But part of living in a society is considering general and not only personal risk. Riding against traffic would still be both illegal and hazardous to others cyclists.

I guess it becomes a little academic at this point whether someone is actually riding the bike.
It remains quite relevant in both law and practice. For example, a pedestrian on the roadway can far more easily step sideways onto the curb when meeting oncoming traffic.

And yes, there are jurisdictions which require a pedestrian travelling on the road surface to yield to vehicular traffic, in addition to heavily limiting the conditions under which a pedestrian is allowed to be there at all.

On the flip side, things like crosswalk right-of-way laws are universal for pedestrians, but only cover cyclists (no matter how slow) in a minority of places.

The more supportable parallel of walking and walking-speed-cycling is that if you're going that slowly, you might as well just get off and walk.

Last edited by UniChris; 03-21-21 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 03-21-21, 11:39 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
In terms of your own safety, perhaps. But part of living in a society is considering general and not only personal risk. Riding against traffic would still be both illegal and hazardous to others cyclists.



It remains quite relevant in both law and practice. For example, a pedestrian on the roadway can far more easily step sideways onto the curb when meeting oncoming traffic.

And yes, there are jurisdictions which require a pedestrian travelling on the road surface to yield to vehicular traffic, in addition to heavily limiting the conditions under which a pedestrian is allowed to be there at all.

On the flip side, things like crosswalk right-of-way laws are universal for pedestrians, but only cover cyclists (no matter how slow) in a minority of places.

The more supportable parallel of walking and walking-speed-cycling is that if you're going that slowly, you might as well just get off and walk.
Next time donít duck, and it wonít go over your head.

John
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Old 03-21-21, 07:07 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
If she's on the sidewalk, then she's not in the road, and which side she's on doesn't matter. Almost by definition, sidewalks aren't directional.
Only if there are no intersections including driveways.

Otherwise she's inviting collisions with drivers not looking for traffic off the main roadway headed in the wrong direction.
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Old 03-22-21, 01:18 PM
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I would think if she isn't able to follow the rules of the road for her own safety she isn't old enough to ride her bike home alone. At 12 she is pretty young to be out on the streets alone, there are a lot of people out looking to make young girls victims. Course I may be watching too many of those true crime shows lately. Growing up had a babysitter until I was 13. While I hated it at the time I am grateful to my mom for keeping me safe.
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Old 03-22-21, 01:28 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Marci View Post
I would think if she isn't able to follow the rules of the road for her own safety she isn't old enough to ride her bike home alone.
That's probably true, however the post originating this thread is quite specific that the poster is riding with the daughter in the to school direction and the description of the problem homebound direction includes the word "we".

But yes, behavior when the child is old enough to do it on her own is not likely to be any better than what she is willing to do on a joint ride now.
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Old 03-22-21, 02:25 PM
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A high priority for you should be keeping it fun for you two. As you get older you will cherish those times together. Don't leave out safety of course but if you can accommodate some of her preferences and still be safe, that would be best.

Riding against traffic on the road is both illegal and dangerous. And highly discourteous to any biker riding in the correct direction.

Biking faster than walking speed on sidewalks against road traffic flow, as been pointed out by others, is also dangerous IF there are driveways and cross streets.

Biking on the sidewalk with Dad can offer good teaching moments - 'See the driver there waiting to pull out in front of us - she's only looking to her left because she's not expecting bike traffic like us coming from the other direction.

Or, 'we're sharing this sidewalk with pedestrians, dog walkers, joggers - many who not hear or see us coming up behind them. As bikers we have to be extra courteous. Sometimes it may be best to walk our bikes."

Good luck.
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Old 03-22-21, 02:58 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Only if there are no intersections including driveways.

Otherwise she's inviting collisions with drivers not looking for traffic off the main roadway headed in the wrong direction.
not sure where you live but every place i have ever lived sidewalks are non-directional. a driver leaving a driveway should *always* expect use from either direction regardless of mode of transportation. speed is a straw man argument. those on roller blades move quite fast too, probably faster than this young girl in these specific circumstances.
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Old 03-22-21, 07:22 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
not sure where you live but every place i have ever lived sidewalks are non-directional.... speed is a straw man argument.
It's not a straw man argument at all, it's quite critical to safety.

Sidewalks etc are simply not designed for cycling speed movement.

those on roller blades move quite fast too
Cycling is indeed not the only sort of dangerous was to move from a sidewalk into the path of traffic - rollerblades, running, etc will work, too.

In actuality most states explicitly prohibit a pedestrian from leaving a place of safety to enter or cross a road without checking for traffic.

Even though they require a driver to yield to a pedestrian (but often not a cyclist), their laws recognize the physical reality that it only works when drivers are given time to yield.
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Old 03-22-21, 08:15 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
It's not a straw man argument at all, it's quite critical to safety.

Sidewalks etc are simply not designed for cycling speed movement.



Cycling is indeed not the only sort of dangerous was to move from a sidewalk into the path of traffic - rollerblades, running, etc will work, too.

In actuality most states explicitly prohibit a pedestrian from leaving a place of safety to enter or cross a road without checking for traffic.

Even though they require a driver to yield to a pedestrian (but often not a cyclist), their laws recognize the physical reality that it only works when drivers are given time to yield.
Really? so how fast to you leave your drive way? are you that fast that you do not have time to react to someone near by?
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Old 03-22-21, 08:44 PM
  #63  
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You persist in a deadly misunderstanding of the design of roads and sidewalks: none of their design, visibility, or their governing laws takes into account cycling speed movement.

If you want to get yourself killed, that's your business, but please don't try to pass your practically and legally flawed theories off as a sane approach to cycling.

The reality of the law as it is generally written in most states is quite clear: pedestrians are not allowed to "leave a place of safety" when there is a car too close to reasonably stop - a car doesn't even need to reach the speed limit for that to be an issue.

The only thing in your post that was even remotely right was "not have time to react to someone near by" - but that applies to the cyclist's time to react, to the appearance of either a car or a pedestrian.

Last edited by UniChris; 03-22-21 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 03-23-21, 07:27 AM
  #64  
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Here in the wonderful city of Reno, NV it is perfectly legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk unless in a certain specified area or where otherwise posted. I have never seen such a posting here.

i really don't know why you are berating me. i only asked a question and posed a counter argument. i don't advocate riding on teh sidewalk unless teh rider is a child. everything has context.
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Old 03-23-21, 08:50 AM
  #65  
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I wonder if the thread starter expected this kind of discussion?

I'd be totally fine letting my 11 year old ride uphill on the opposite direction sidewalk:
1. She's 11 and riding uphill, so probably not going very fast.
2. She's likely been screamed at a million times already to stop and/or look for cars at every driveway to make sure drivers see her before crossing.
3. I'd expect her to "share the sidewalk" with pedestrians and move over, stop and walk, etc if it's crowded.
4. Riding the opposite direction in a bike lane is generally pretty dangerous. Even if this short stretch was arguably safe, I'd still want to teach my daughter that if she's going to ride in bike lanes pon the street she needs to follow rules.
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Old 03-23-21, 09:16 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
i really don't know why you are berating me. i only asked a question and posed a counter argument.
You made the utterly false claim that in sidewalk cycling "speed is a strawman argument"

Riding around with such a false belief is a great way to get yourself killed.

Since you brought up laws in Nevada, here's one you want to keep in mind:

484B.283 (b) A pedestrian shall not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
If you are riding on the sidewalk, you have the same responsibility to check for approaching traffic, and the faster you go, the harder it is to achieve the necessary traffic check.

Nor is speed just an issue of traffic checks: whatever the original "cause" of conflict, many crashes have the cyclist's own speed as the "final factor" that makes it impossible to avoid contact rather than successfully react. While pedestrians certainly get killed in crossings too, even a jogger moving at comparable moderate cycling speed has a greater chance of avoiding such a crash, or more safely absorbing an unavoidable impact and rebounding rather than flipping over or slipping underneath.

(But the problem for the OP and daughter seems to be less the apparently quite slow sidewalk riding, than the illicit bike lane salmoning they describe as resulting when they need to move off the sidewalk to yield to the pedestrians it is actually there for)

Last edited by UniChris; 03-23-21 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 03-23-21, 10:12 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I wonder if the thread starter expected this kind of discussion?

I'd be totally fine letting my 11 year old ride uphill on the opposite direction sidewalk:
1. She's 11 and riding uphill, so probably not going very fast.
2. She's likely been screamed at a million times already to stop and/or look for cars at every driveway to make sure drivers see her before crossing.
3. I'd expect her to "share the sidewalk" with pedestrians and move over, stop and walk, etc if it's crowded.
4. Riding the opposite direction in a bike lane is generally pretty dangerous. Even if this short stretch was arguably safe, I'd still want to teach my daughter that if she's going to ride in bike lanes pon the street she needs to follow rules.
and this is exactly what i mean by context. the girl is riding an apparently heavy bike up a mile long 3-4%ish grade (IIRC). now how fast does anyone thing she is going? 4 maybe 5 mph? about the speed of walking give or take.

i would have no problem were it my daughter riding her bike in this situation. far better than the road where the OP claims cars are going 50 in a 35.
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Old 03-23-21, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
and this is exactly what i mean by context. the girl is riding an apparently heavy bike up a mile long 3-4%ish grade (IIRC). now how fast does anyone thing she is going? 4 maybe 5 mph? about the speed of walking give or take.
If you'd review the thread a bit more carefully, you'd see that it is not the walking speed sidewalk cycling of the OP's report which is the focus of criticism,

i would have no problem were it my daughter riding her bike in this situation. far better than the road where the OP claims cars are going 50 in a 35.
If you read the thread more carefully, you'd see that the OP and daughter are having to depart the sidewalk when they encounter pedestrians and ride on that road.

The criticism is with the fact that they then end up riding not just the road, but an actual bike lane, unsafely and illicitly against the direction of traffic - including the direction of the legal bike traffic for which it exists.

And if you read a bit more carefully than that, you'd see that the most recommended (and long ago accepted by the OP) solution was not to leave the sidewalk, but rather to get off and walk the sidewalk, at least when meeting the pedestrians for whose use the sidewalk exists.

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Old 03-23-21, 12:48 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
not sure where you live but every place i have ever lived sidewalks are non-directional. a driver leaving a driveway should *always* expect use from either direction regardless of mode of transportation. speed is a straw man argument. those on roller blades move quite fast too, probably faster than this young girl in these specific circumstances.
Drivers should expect traffic from either direction.

In practice they don't, and in most states "I didn't see them" is an accepted defense to vehicular manslaughter charges.
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Old 03-23-21, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
If you'd review the thread a bit more carefully, you'd see that it is not the walking speed sidewalk cycling of the OP's report which is the focus of criticism,



If you read the thread more carefully, you'd see that the OP and daughter are having to depart the sidewalk when they encounter pedestrians and ride on that road.

The criticism is with the fact that they then end up riding not just the road, but an actual bike lane, unsafely and illicitly against the direction of traffic - including the direction of the legal bike traffic for which it exists.

And if you read a bit more carefully than that, you'd see that the most recommended (and long ago accepted by the OP) solution was not to leave the sidewalk, but rather to get off and walk the sidewalk, at least when meeting the pedestrians for whose use the sidewalk exists.
and i would agree with the criticism, they should not depart the sidewalk and ride in the wrong direction on the road, it is dangerous. i never advocated otherwise. so we are in agreement there? maybe? some have posted to continue to ride on the sidewalk which i agree.

so, what are you arguing about?

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Old 03-23-21, 01:07 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Drivers should expect traffic from either direction.

In practice they don't, and in most states "I didn't see them" is an accepted defense to vehicular manslaughter charges.
I fully agree. I think the charges should be much steeper.

I am currently driving around with my 16 yr old daughter before her drive test and getting her in the habit of expecting "traffic" from both directions.
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Old 03-23-21, 01:09 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Drivers should expect traffic from either direction.
That would be ideal, yes.

But what this overlooks is that in most states a cyclist on a sidewalk who wants to use a marked or unmarked crossing is neither "traffic" nor a "pedestrian" and as a result does not have the right of way to enter the crossing when there is a vehicle legally approaching it.

As such, except in the states that do list cyclists in their crosswalk yield law, it's actually the cyclist wanting to use a crossing who has the obligation to check for the absence of approaching cars, and not the reverse.

If you want the opportunity to obtain the right of way through an intersection in the same manner a driver could, then you have to ride on the road in accordance with traffic laws applicable to doing so; if you want the privileges of a pedestrian then you have to actually be one - even where the odd in-between of sidewalk cycling isn't prohibited, its an oddball manner of usage that is not granted the privileges of either walking or driving - essentially your only right is the due care obligation of others not to hit you when they could reasonably avoid doing so, such as when you were there well before. Entering a crossing without the right of way does not put the obligation on the driver.

It's one thing to argue about what you wish other people would do, but it's a bad idea to have your safety rely on other people's attentiveness to what is not their responsibility, and willingness to yield where they aren't actually obligated to.

In situations where cyclists have no special status, it's informative to contemplate the same meeting between two cars and ask which you would expect to yield to which. Or even contemplate it as a meeting between two cyclists.

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