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Why you shouldn't ride on the sidewalk

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Why you shouldn't ride on the sidewalk

Old 08-19-08, 08:47 PM
  #1  
zacster
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Why you shouldn't ride on the sidewalk

I was having lunch today at an outdoor brewpub in Holland, Michigan today, and I saw this freak with wild hair approaching us riding on the sidewalk. As he passed us the waitress was bringing out a tray full of beers for the tables. CRASH. A pity too, it wasted good beer. The guy was a total moron.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:52 PM
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I have a question about the sidewalk. Today, when I was out on my normal 22 mile ride, I came upon some construction work that took up all lanes of the street, all except one. I didn't want to ride in the one lane because there was no room for a car and a bike...so I went on the sidewalk and rode slowly. Did I do the right thing in that situation? Is that an 'okay' time to ride on the sidewalk or should I have stayed in the street?
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Old 08-19-08, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TeddyKGB View Post
I have a question about the sidewalk. Today, when I was out on my normal 22 mile ride, I came upon some construction work that took up all lanes of the street, all except one. I didn't want to ride in the one lane because there was no room for a car and a bike...so I went on the sidewalk and rode slowly. Did I do the right thing in that situation? Is that an 'okay' time to ride on the sidewalk or should I have stayed in the street?
Sometimes I think it's acceptable to ride on the sidewalk. In places where there are too many risks on a particular stretch of road and there aren't many people on the sidewalk, I'll sometimes ride on the sidewalk. But I'll usually ride very slowly (less than 8 mph or so) and as soon as it's safe to get back on the road again, I will.
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Old 08-19-08, 09:13 PM
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U could had walked it on the sidewalk, or

if u ride fast enough, just get in the middle of the 1-lane and pump it through.
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Old 08-19-08, 09:14 PM
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Sometimes it's not OK to ride on the sidewalk - that's where it's prohibited by law. It's doubtful the police will bother arresting anyone for that "crime," but certainly just as it sometimes isn't safe to ride a particular street, so it might not be advisable to ride on the sidewalk (lots of pedestrians, for example).

Next time this happens, consider if it might not be a better idea to walk your bike on the sidewalk, if conditions warrant.
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Old 08-19-08, 09:23 PM
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I feel your pain, here in downtown Boston it is NOT ok to be on the side walk. Every day I see people weaving their bike through the crowds on the sidewalks, makes me want to scream. Just a couple weeks ago I stepped out of my building and was within inches of being mowed down by a fixie going pretty fast, would have been a bad day for both of us.
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Old 08-19-08, 09:26 PM
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I ride my bike on the sidewalk all the time. If it's legal, you've got as much of a right to be on it as you do on the road.
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Old 08-19-08, 09:30 PM
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Everyone around here rides on the sidewalk because they're all students on wal-mart mountain bikes riding to class.
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Old 08-19-08, 09:30 PM
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Almost took out a cyclist today while mowing the lawn. He was riding on the sidewalk and I didn't see him until the last second. Speed limit in town is 25, the same as most neighbor hoods, and he was on the sidewalk with no helmet on.
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Old 08-19-08, 10:03 PM
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Theres one part of one of my rides where it's just stupid to ride on the street, so I take about 20-30 feet of side walk, slowly, i think tahts ok.
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Old 08-19-08, 10:34 PM
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If you think it's safer for you and little to no risk for the people on the side walk, do it for a short distance. I do it some time when I feel the road isn't as safe. It's a trade-offs. Just try not to be illegal.
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Old 08-19-08, 10:44 PM
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Here in Oregon you can ride on the sidewalk, sometime. Portland had a city ordinance against riding on the sidewalk. The rest of the time it is ok, just give way to peds. Ride like a jerk and you could get a careless driving ticket or reckless endangering cite. That is the legal answer in Oregon if anyone give a S.

I do it. I just try to be really polite when I do it.
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Old 08-19-08, 11:29 PM
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What a waste of good beer.

And why is it that any thread with the word 'sidewalk' always has to turn into a debate?
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Old 08-20-08, 06:53 AM
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One of the advantages of a bicycle is that you can move seamlessly between operating as a vehicle on the road and operating as a pedestrian off the road. If you run into a tricky patch of road and feel safer using the sidewalk, go for it, as long as you realize that you now have to follow the same rules you would if you were walking as a pedestrian.
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Old 08-20-08, 07:12 AM
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that's alcohol abuse!!! shame!
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Old 08-20-08, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I was having lunch today... freak with wild hair approaching... waitress was bringing out a tray full of beers... CRASH... wasted good beer.
I'm going to have a tray full of beers for lunch as well in honor of you. And I want your job.
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Old 08-20-08, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by TeddyKGB View Post
I have a question about the sidewalk. Today, when I was out on my normal 22 mile ride, I came upon some construction work that took up all lanes of the street, all except one. I didn't want to ride in the one lane because there was no room for a car and a bike...so I went on the sidewalk and rode slowly. Did I do the right thing in that situation? Is that an 'okay' time to ride on the sidewalk or should I have stayed in the street?
Based just on the information you provided, I think I probably would've just taken the entire lane and ridden on the street. I think there is room for judgment, though. If the lanes are wide enough for a car to pass you safely, then stay on the street to the right, and go that way. If the construction area is several blocks long and there is a lot of car traffic moving through the area that you'll be slowing down substantially by taking the lane, if the lane is narrow and if the sidewalk has few people on it, then I could see riding on the sidewalk.

icyclist is right that the cops are probably not going to bother ticketing a cyclist riding on the sidewalk even where it is illegal. If the cyclist hits a pedestrian, though, and the pedestrian sues to recover damages for injury, the fact that riding on the sidewalk is illegal would definitely hurt the cyclist's defense in the suit.
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Old 08-20-08, 08:19 AM
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In Sweden and Finland, the sidewalks are extra wide and the right half (I believe) is reserved for bikes, of which there are many. Bozos like me wandering around half loaded get all kinds of dirty looks and near misses until they figure out what the deal is.

Bikes parked all over the place. "If you want to get your bike stolen in Finland," a local guy told me, "lock it."
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Old 08-20-08, 08:24 AM
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In DC it's illegal to ride on the sidewalk in the central business district.

Illegal and stupidly unsafe.

In Japan, though, they're well accustomed to bikes on the sidewalk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_MphtzCOEc
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Old 08-20-08, 08:47 AM
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I'm a cyclist who has actually been hit as a pedestrian by a sidewalk biker on a downtown street. I think those bozos who slalom through pedestrians are complete morons. However, I don't think I would hesitate to temporarily ride on the sidewalk a short way to bypass some road construction or that kind of thing. That's not really sidewalk riding.
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Old 08-20-08, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by uke View Post
I ride my bike on the sidewalk all the time. If it's legal, you've got as much of a right to be on it as you do on the road.
Where is it legal?
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Old 08-20-08, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by adam View Post
Where is it legal?
It depends on your local laws. In the city of Philadelphia, for example, it is illegal for anyone over the age of 12 to ride on the sidewalk in any district. Outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania law allows riding on the sidewalk except in commercial districts.
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Old 08-20-08, 09:39 AM
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It's legal in Los Angeles.
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Old 08-20-08, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Febs View Post
It depends on your local laws. In the city of Philadelphia, for example, it is illegal for anyone over the age of 12 to ride on the sidewalk in any district. Outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania law allows riding on the sidewalk except in commercial districts.
Ah... didn't know that. Just assumed it was illegal everywhere.
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Old 08-21-08, 03:20 PM
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Here in the Dallas area you'd be hard-pressed to find any pedestrians at all in most neighborhoods. Everyone drives everywhere. That fact, combined with the lack of shoulders or bike lanes or careful drivers, allows me to ride the sidewalks guilt-free. If I do happen upon a pedestrian, though, I slow way down and stay out of their way.
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