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Riding on sidewalks

Old 06-03-20, 03:35 PM
  #51  
StarBiker
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Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
Riding on a sidewalk is probably going to be bad news in most places. There's exactly one place where I ride on a sidewalk, and that's this one stretch where a MUP joins back up to a main road and the boneheads that designed this didn't think to put any ramps there. I could stop, unclip, and set my bike down onto the road and then keep riding, but nobody's ever walking this particular stretch of sidewalk so I just ride it for a couple hundred yards until the next business entrance where I can ride down onto the street.

Bottom line is that the safest option is usually to do what others expect so there are no surprises. I'd say in my region nobody's expecting a bike to be cruising along a sidewalk, so by definition almost it's less safe than riding in the street. A sidewalk with pedestrians is for pedestrians, not cyclists.
None of that applies here.
THE CAR IS KING. AND THE BIGGER THE VEHICLE THE BETTER......

Again, common sense, pay attention, be nice, and announce you are coming. I can't believe people on here post like this is unheard of. If you live in a place that you can't cycle on the sidewalk you can't? Right? If you don't you can. Simple. Say it with me.........

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Old 06-03-20, 04:22 PM
  #52  
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Nowhere I've ever lived was it illegal to ride on a sidewalk, except in business districts or certain designated areas. That includes California (and I was pulled over by a Ventura County cop for riding in the street (Victoria Blvd) instead of the sidewalk). For several months I've been across the river from New Orleans, and 100% of riders are transportation cyclists and ride the sidewalks (if they exist). Just use your head when on the sidewalk, or I will often just cut through the grass alongside if possible to avoid a gaggle of peds. That's the beauty of a bike -- you aren't restricted to a "lane".

scott s.
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Old 06-03-20, 04:52 PM
  #53  
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If there is heavy traffic and no bike lane, I will ride on the sidewalk unless there are signs prohibiting it. If there are pedestrians, I either slow down or dismount and walk the bike. As far as I know, bikes are not allowed on any of the sidewalks in my city regardless of signage so I am subject to being fined if caught. That said, I'd rather pay a city fine than pay a hospital bill.
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Old 06-03-20, 05:59 PM
  #54  
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Check local laws when you're on the road. In some areas, the sidewalks are dangerous and uneven it's better to be on the road TBH.
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Old 06-03-20, 06:31 PM
  #55  
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usually just slow my roll & do a quiet fact as one passes by... pass them some gas!
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Old 06-03-20, 06:51 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
If there is heavy traffic and no bike lane, I will ride on the sidewalk unless there are signs prohibiting it. If there are pedestrians, I either slow down or dismount and walk the bike. As far as I know, bikes are not allowed on any of the sidewalks in my city regardless of signage so I am subject to being fined if caught. That said, I'd rather pay a city fine than pay a hospital bill.
There are roads in my area ,if you ride on the side of the road, you will almost surely get hit, they just speed too much, text, or drive bad. In my general suburban area it's no problem, mostly 25 MPH limits, and plenty of room. I plan my routes with minimal use of sidewalks to make it to parking lots then to bike trails and large parks. I gotta hand it to people that commute on bicycles, or for that fact scooters, that ride on the side of the road on busy high traffic streets. I have seen so many incidents while driving my car. I rode large displacement street bikes for years and would feel way safer than being on a bicycle on the side of a busy street, but that's just me. Looking at those on-coming cars at 50 MPH in the mirror of a bicycle made me feel so helpless to a hit, with the powerful street bikes you could put distance between you and the drivers instantly. I wish we had those barrier segregated bike lanes like they have in some cities, those I would definitely commute on.
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Old 06-03-20, 07:03 PM
  #57  
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Our metro area has almost all new street construction including widening of streets include money for "bike/pedestrian" pathways,

I saw a bike on a section of new pathway this morning at 6AM. First time I have seen another bike in 3 years.

I have seen an incredible increase in riders, runners and walkers on most busy pathways. And none appear angry.
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Old 06-03-20, 07:23 PM
  #58  
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W
Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
Nowhere I've ever lived was it illegal to ride on a sidewalk, except in business districts or certain designated areas. That includes California (and I was pulled over by a Ventura County cop for riding in the street (Victoria Blvd) instead of the sidewalk). For several months I've been across the river from New Orleans, and 100% of riders are transportation cyclists and ride the sidewalks (if they exist). Just use your head when on the sidewalk, or I will often just cut through the grass alongside if possible to avoid a gaggle of peds. That's the beauty of a bike -- you aren't restricted to a "lane".

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Victoria Blvd. is a multi use sidewalk with no shoulder on the traffic lane. Also since the inception of the share the road law a couple of years ago there are signs on Victoria indicating that cyclists may use the entire lane. You must have been here years ago. The law does not state that you should use a sidewalk in lieu of the street. The laws are very specific now . In the seventies it was relaxed but still not legal(as we were taught in class) to ride a bike on the sidewalk or in a crosswalk. These areas are for pedestrians.
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Old 06-03-20, 08:34 PM
  #59  
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Sidewalk riding is allowed in my locale with some limits. I tend to let etiquette be my guide. I don't want pedestrians to feel like they have to jump out of my way. I'm prepared to walk my bike, dip off the sidewalk onto the grass, or even just stop, to make it obvious that I'm giving the right of way. By the time I'm on the sidewalk, my speed is usually down to a walking pace anyway. This is a pretty rare situation, but there are some places where it's just hard to avoid dangerous traffic, and makes sense to hop onto the sidewalk for a stretch. In some of these areas, as roads are being maintained, the sidewalks are being widened, and turned into multi use paths.
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Old 06-03-20, 09:54 PM
  #60  
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Against city ordinance here, thank goodness! Cars then have to share the road
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Old 06-04-20, 07:55 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Tony P. View Post
In essence, my earlier point is that bringing legal requirements into a discussion of bike etiquette muddies the waters. It's like debating whether to use a directional signal where no turn is allowed.
The legal side of it does matter, though. In that at least part of the etiquette is "obey the local laws." In Ireland, (and I'm sure Britain too) "don't ride on the footpath" applies pretty much everywhere. So the etiquette is, don't ride on the footpath; get off and walk.

And I think broadly, that's the "if-in-doubt" response. If you're unsure of the rules of the road in your locality, walk your bike where there's any doubt.
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Old 06-04-20, 10:46 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
Nowhere I've ever lived was it illegal to ride on a sidewalk, except in business districts or certain designated areas. That includes California (and I was pulled over by a Ventura County cop for riding in the street (Victoria Blvd) instead of the sidewalk). For several months I've been across the river from New Orleans, and 100% of riders are transportation cyclists and ride the sidewalks (if they exist). Just use your head when on the sidewalk, or I will often just cut through the grass alongside if possible to avoid a gaggle of peds. That's the beauty of a bike -- you aren't restricted to a "lane".

scott s.
.

OK, well you might not live in New Orleans, but unless you're 15 years or younger, it's illegal to ride on the sidewalk anywhere in the city.

New Orleans Municipal Code:

Sec. 154-1416. - Riding on sidewalks.No person 15 or more years of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in the city nor will bicycles be allowed on sidewalks in the business district.
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Old 06-04-20, 10:53 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Tony P. View Post
In essence, my earlier point is that bringing legal requirements into a discussion of bike etiquette muddies the waters. It's like debating whether to use a directional signal where no turn is allowed.
Or, it just might mean that etiquette really isn't the question. Basically, the law dictates the etiquette here--in the places where it's legal to ride on the sidewalk, the pedestrian has the right of way.
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Old 06-04-20, 06:21 PM
  #64  
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Rhetorical question, Do you think anyone gave a rat's arse about cyclists when writing those laws?!
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Old 06-04-20, 06:59 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
Rhetorical question, Do you think anyone gave a rat's arse about cyclists when writing those laws?!
As a life-long resident of the the fifth most populous city in the country, Iím glad most sidewalk riding is illegal.
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Old 06-04-20, 07:58 PM
  #66  
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You do know that this is a world wide forum and not everyone lives in Golden Colorado and riding on the sidewalk is not a criminal offense in a lot (possible even most) of the world?
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Old 06-05-20, 04:09 AM
  #67  
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One thing that leaves me scratching my head is this - what good does dismounting and walking the bike (assuming it is allowed to ride on the sidewalk!) when you could just slow down when passing pedestrians? Walking the bike you take up more space than (slowly) riding, so there is no real safety benefit in doing that.
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Old 06-05-20, 04:27 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by BruceA78 View Post
You do know that this is a world wide forum and not everyone lives in Golden Colorado and riding on the sidewalk is not a criminal offense in a lot (possible even most) of the world?

OP asked the question. OP is in Illinois. If the answers are different in other countries, I would be very happy to hear from people there about it.

Again, the point I am making is that the etiquette is dictated quite clearly in the US. It's either completely forbidden, or the pedestrian has an unqualified right of way. Is there a country where pedestrians don't have the right of way on sidewalks? Feel free to enlighten us.
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Old 06-05-20, 04:35 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
One thing that leaves me scratching my head is this - what good does dismounting and walking the bike (assuming it is allowed to ride on the sidewalk!) when you could just slow down when passing pedestrians? Walking the bike you take up more space than (slowly) riding, so there is no real safety benefit in doing that.

I'm an excellent slow rider and I've had to give up on that issue. For some reason, in any street fair/crowd situation, people seem to think that if you're on the saddle, you're going to bump into them. I've literally had a guy yell in terror when he realized I was riding the same speed he was walking and I was about 6 feet behind him. Cops will also yell at you or worse if you don't dismount.

Is that just a US thing?
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Old 06-05-20, 05:54 AM
  #70  
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It comes without saying that you should've slowed down a little bit. However, don't treat yourselg like a baddie) Sometimes it happens, don't worry
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Old 06-05-20, 06:34 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I'm an excellent slow rider and I've had to give up on that issue. For some reason, in any street fair/crowd situation, people seem to think that if you're on the saddle, you're going to bump into them. I've literally had a guy yell in terror when he realized I was riding the same speed he was walking and I was about 6 feet behind him. Cops will also yell at you or worse if you don't dismount.

Is that just a US thing?
Ok, I see the point in a street fair/crowd situation, but I think that isn't really the normal situation when one would ride on a sidewalk - there is little sense in riding on a sidewalk if it's so crowded you can barely get through.

As a side note - I've had someone trying to steal from my backpack while I was slowly riding through crowded old town.
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Old 06-05-20, 06:45 AM
  #72  
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Way back when I lived in Chicago, I was downtown and I wanted to get to the lake but the nearest road was one way the other direction. I moved to the sidewalk and rode slowly only to be stopped by a police officer who told me to get off and walk, or ride on the street. It was a weekend and there wasn't much pedestrian traffic. At least I didn't get a citation.

Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Chicago code actually states:
"No person 12 or more years of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district, unless such sidewalk has been officially designated and marked as a bicycle route."

The section about business districts only applies to riders under the age of 12.

Additionally, there are laws allowing impounding of bikes and $250 fines for violators in certain areas:
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Old 06-05-20, 07:03 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by subgrade View Post
Ok, I see the point in a street fair/crowd situation, but I think that isn't really the normal situation when one would ride on a sidewalk - there is little sense in riding on a sidewalk if it's so crowded you can barely get through.

As a side note - I've had someone trying to steal from my backpack while I was slowly riding through crowded old town.

The situations where this has happened have been when thee street was blocked off, also Bourbon St. in New Orleans, which was always like that. I wouldn't even be close to the pedestrian and they'd panic.

I actually hopped off the bike once on a sidewalk to let a pedestrian get by, and I'm pretty sure he thought I was going to mug him. I don't do that anymore.
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Old 06-05-20, 07:30 AM
  #74  
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In the very few instances I have taken to the sidewalk while wearing cleats, I unclip 1 foot, and use the "scooter method" of pushing with my toe, at walking speed. Much better control at slow speed, and also shows pedestrians I am not really riding.
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Old 06-05-20, 07:35 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
In the very few instances I have taken to the sidewalk while wearing cleats, I unclip 1 foot, and use the "scooter method" of pushing with my toe, at walking speed. Much better control at slow speed, and also shows pedestrians I am not really riding.

I do this on flats as well. Works when a road lane gets blocked for construction as well, from experience, it's cop-approved.
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