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Sidewalk/sidepath riding... a different view.

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Sidewalk/sidepath riding... a different view.

Old 07-21-19, 10:13 AM
  #26  
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I suspect sidewalk riding, if over the age of 13 or so, is illegal in most cities and suburbs in California. I haven't done a survey, but it's true for my town and true for San Francisco.

There are very good reasons for a bias against cycling in pedestrian spaces, and I'll just leave it at that. Frankly, I am against "protected" bike lanes as well, I'll take my chances with the grown-ups.
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Old 07-21-19, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
I suspect sidewalk riding, if over the age of 13 or so, is illegal in most cities and suburbs in California. I haven't done a survey, but it's true for my town and true for San Francisco.

There are very good reasons for a bias against cycling in pedestrian spaces, and I'll just leave it at that. Frankly, I am against "protected" bike lanes as well, I'll take my chances with the grown-ups.
And yet sidepath/MUP riding is QUITE legal... especially in places like Davis, or the San Diego boardwalk or Ventura boardwalk, just as it is quite legal to ride a bicycle on the Interstate, in selected areas.

But bottom line, I was citing Florida and Arizona for examples.

California still largely believes in paint as a magic solution. Although I do notice that "buffer lanes" are appearing in a variety of locations... as well as the "cyclist may use full lane" sign... of course neither offer any sort of physical barrier... unless paint has new heretofore unheard of properties.

Of course, in a perfect world, all this would be academic and motorists would unequivocally share the road with us as equals. (and pigs will fly)
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Old 07-21-19, 03:17 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Of course, in a perfect world, all this would be academic and motorists would unequivocally share the road with us as equals. (and pigs will fly)
And in that perfect world cyclist would stop at red lights, and stop sings, ride on the correct side of the road, treat pedestrians with respect, etc etc etc.

Very blanket statement, all groups overall are safe and treat people with respect. Bad apples always spoil the bunch. We are all very very very far from perfect..
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Old 07-21-19, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
And yet sidepath/MUP riding is QUITE legal... especially in places like Davis, or the San Diego boardwalk or Ventura boardwalk, just as it is quite legal to ride a bicycle on the Interstate, in selected areas.

But bottom line, I was citing Florida and Arizona for examples.

California still largely believes in paint as a magic solution. Although I do notice that "buffer lanes" are appearing in a variety of locations... as well as the "cyclist may use full lane" sign... of course neither offer any sort of physical barrier... unless paint has new heretofore unheard of properties.

Of course, in a perfect world, all this would be academic and motorists would unequivocally share the road with us as equals. (and pigs will fly)
Nonsense, Read the Code in Davis, you'll be ticketed on campus or in the city: Davis Municipal Code (Davis, California) The crazy State of Florida is an outlier.
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Old 07-21-19, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
Nonsense, Read the Code in Davis, you'll be ticketed on campus or in the city: Davis Municipal Code (Davis, California) The crazy State of Florida is an outlier.
HA! Read your own code. Sidewalk riding is only EXCLUDED in certain areas... and sidepath riding is not excluded at all.

No person shall ride or propel a bicycle or skateboard upon a sidewalk or any improvements constructed or placed on a sidewalk within the central traffic district as defined in Section 16-1 of this Code, except a person may ride a bicycle or skateboard across a sidewalk only as may be necessary to enter or leave property adjacent to that sidewalk.

(b) No person shall ride, use or otherwise operate or propel a skateboard on any public right-of-way, roadway, pavement, parking lot or sidewalk located within the following area: Beginning at a point of the extension of the north curb of 2nd Street to the centerline of the westernmost Southern Pacific railroad track; then southerly along the centerline of the westernmost Southern Pacific railroad track to an extension of the southernmost east/west building line of 130 G Street; then westerly along that building line extension to the south east corner of 130 G Street; then northerly along the east building face of 130 G Street to the point of beginning. (SP and bus depot)
And again... as I mentioned multiple times in this thread... city centers are NOT the best place upon which to ride a bike on sidewalks. (I even mentioned "God bless messengers" in my opening post, due to their need to move about on city core streets)... and I even listed why. I also mentioned that cyclists and motorists tend to function quite well as mutual traffic, when their speed differences are not great.

But you want to adhere to dogma, and declare that sidewalk cycling is illegal... and therefore should not be done. Nice try, but fail!
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Old 07-21-19, 04:16 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
HA! Read your own code. Sidewalk riding is only EXCLUDED in certain areas... and sidepath riding is not excluded at all.



And again... as I mentioned multiple times in this thread... city centers are NOT the best place upon which to ride a bike on sidewalks. (I even mentioned "God bless messengers" in my opening post, due to their need to move about on city core streets)... and I even listed why. I also mentioned that cyclists and motorists tend to function quite well as mutual traffic, when their speed differences are not great.

But you want to adhere to dogma, and declare that sidewalk cycling is illegal... and therefore should not be done. Nice try, but fail!
You clearly have more experience at this type of dialogue than I do. I trust you have streamers on your bike
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Old 07-21-19, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
You clearly have more experience at this type of dialogue than I do. I trust you have streamers on your bike
Only on my fat tire beach cruiser.

Thanks for the dialog. Clearly sidewalk/sidepath riding doesn't work everywhere, any more than dogmatic take the lane "vehicular cycling" would work "everywhere."

As smart cyclists, these are all part of our tool kit, to be used, where appropriate. The goal is to get there, on a bike, and in something of a good mood.

Keep spinning.

For the record, I have a narrow tire crit bike, a full suspension trails bike, a fat tire beach cruiser, and a utilitarian commuter "truck... " the latter, custom built for me. Just as I use different bikes for different reasons, I also use whatever surface best suits me for safe, fun cycling. (John Forester was indeed right about one thing... the desire to ride fast is a primary motivator)
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Old 07-21-19, 06:56 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by PoorBob View Post
And in that perfect world cyclist would stop at red lights, and stop sings, ride on the correct side of the road, treat pedestrians with respect, etc etc etc.

Very blanket statement, all groups overall are safe and treat people with respect. Bad apples always spoil the bunch. We are all very very very far from perfect..
What is interesting that even when I do ALL the things you mention... I still find that I have to watch out for the other guy. It really isn't enough to just do the right thing... you have to also do what it takes to avoid others doing all the wrong things.

Frankly, I'll insist cyclists stop at red lights and stop signs and ride on the correct side of the road as soon as the majority users of the road drive the speed limit and also stop at all the stop signals. Until then, I'll certainly obey the rules... and watch out for ALL THE OTHER FOLKS THAT DON'T.
That is the cyclists burden... to save our skin, we not only have to do right, but to also compensate for all other wrong do-ers. Motorists have seatbelts, crumple zones and airbags to protect them.
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Old 07-23-19, 05:13 AM
  #34  
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Universal rules are hard to come by, but we all develop habits and practices based on our environments and views of probabilities. I suspect some of this is regional. I ride and drive in New England over a pretty broad range of places, and while there are enormous amounts of MUP riding, an adult riding on a sidewalk is a very rare sight. Part of the reason for this is obvious, I ride in some places where sidewalks are rare, but when I'm in places like the city I live in and the metro Boston area, I just don't see almost anyone do this, even in places where I know it's legal. I have very few places where I will jump on a sidewalk, two in fact, but there's really no safe alternative in those places.

As a general rule, sidewalks and streets wind a lot around here, so riding on a sidewalk often would involve trying to see around a curve, with really low quality pavement. As a general rule, I think you would be much more vulnerable to getting run over at a driveway, hitting a pedestrian, and being hard to see at an intersection riding on a sidewalk around these parts than riding on the street.

MUPs are special-purposed sidewalks designed to accommodate cycling, so lumping them into this discussion is just confusing the issue.
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Old 07-23-19, 06:59 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Sidewalks are for pedestrians, bicycles being vehicles belong in the roadway or on a MUP.

-Bandera
It all depends on where you live and the laws regarding cycling. Each state and city and town might have its own laws and bylaws regarding bicycles on sidewalks. There are times I ride on a sidewalk because in some situations it is safer and legal.

What is true in Texas doesn't apply in MA, and vice versa.
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Old 07-23-19, 07:11 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
And again... as I mentioned multiple times in this thread... city centers are NOT the best place upon which to ride a bike on sidewalks.

But you want to adhere to dogma, and declare that sidewalk cycling is illegal... and therefore should not be done. Nice try, but fail!
Even in city centers sidewalks might be the *BEST* place to ride. (No, these are NOT MUPs, they are sidewalks with signs. The reason is that riding a bicycle on a sidewalk was (and is) illegal in Taipei, yet thousands did so anyway. So they put up signs on SOME sidewalks, and started enforcing the sidewalk ban on other sidewalks. There are some MUPs too though, and yes, throughout the city you can ride on the roads as well, though it takes someone strong and fearless to ride with the scooters on the stroads. Goto the "Metro Boston: Good ride today?" quoted below to see more variety of riding in Taipei. And a video of the scooters.)

p.s. Not only am I riding on a sidewalk, I'm salmoning on a sidewalk. I did not die.

Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Still getting over yesterday's 37 hour Sunday. (Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!)

Used YouBikes to get around town quite a few times. Biggest problem was TomTom turn by turn directions waiting until the very last moment to announce "Left turn at" and then wouldn't tell me the name of the road. Worse, it would sometimes announce "left turn at number number number number", which as far as I could tell was a random sequence.

The Guardian on the Bicycle Kingdom.

Anyhow, a few shots from Taipei to give you a flavor of biking in the city.

....


Taiwan Cultural and Creative Arts Center on the left. This is Minquan East Road, a typical stroad. Three lanes in each direction, with some curbside car parking. In the middle two diamond bus lanes, the bus stops are in the center of the stroad:



Training wheels:




YouBike dock:


-mr. bill
-mr. bill
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Old 07-23-19, 07:43 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Universal rules are hard to come by, but we all develop habits and practices based on our environments and views of probabilities. I suspect some of this is regional. I ride and drive in New England over a pretty broad range of places, and while there are enormous amounts of MUP riding, an adult riding on a sidewalk is a very rare sight. Part of the reason for this is obvious, I ride in some places where sidewalks are rare, but when I'm in places like the city I live in and the metro Boston area, I just don't see almost anyone do this, even in places where I know it's legal. I have very few places where I will jump on a sidewalk, two in fact, but there's really no safe alternative in those places.

As a general rule, sidewalks and streets wind a lot around here, so riding on a sidewalk often would involve trying to see around a curve, with really low quality pavement. As a general rule, I think you would be much more vulnerable to getting run over at a driveway, hitting a pedestrian, and being hard to see at an intersection riding on a sidewalk around these parts than riding on the street.

MUPs are special-purposed sidewalks designed to accommodate cycling, so lumping them into this discussion is just confusing the issue.
Yup, and paths vary from the narrow park path hardly wide enough for a walk, to wide paths, big enough to accommodate a parade... and some sidewalks are wide and have sweeping turns and are just designed for moderate speed riding... say up to 16 or 18 MPH... and connect right to the "highways" of the cycling world, the well designed MUP that never sees pedestrians... as it is off and away from homes, stores, and shops, but is a shortcut past the high speed intersection close by... I can go on and on and describe all manner and means of "paved surface" that can easily accommodate a rolling cyclist... bottom line there are a lot of flavors and variations, and a simple term hardly describes them all... but certainly the "Universal Rule" of "don't ride sidewalks..." is just malarkey... And that IS the point.
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Old 07-24-19, 01:07 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Yup, and paths vary from the narrow park path hardly wide enough for a walk, to wide paths, big enough to accommodate a parade... and some sidewalks are wide and have sweeping turns and are just designed for moderate speed riding... say up to 16 or 18 MPH... and connect right to the "highways" of the cycling world, the well designed MUP that never sees pedestrians... as it is off and away from homes, stores, and shops, but is a shortcut past the high speed intersection close by... I can go on and on and describe all manner and means of "paved surface" that can easily accommodate a rolling cyclist... bottom line there are a lot of flavors and variations, and a simple term hardly describes them all... but certainly the "Universal Rule" of "don't ride sidewalks..." is just malarkey... And that IS the point.
What I'm saying is that where I live, "don't ride sidewalks" is neither the law nor completely universal, but it is definitely the default rule virtually all adult riders use in this region, with good reason. Your average New England sidewalk is almost certainly a more dangerous place to ride than in the average New England street. I have no idea why you think throwing the varying quality of paths adds anything to that discussion.
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Old 07-24-19, 02:32 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
What I'm saying is that where I live, "don't ride sidewalks" is neither the law nor completely universal, but it is definitely the default rule virtually all adult riders use in this region, with good reason. Your average New England sidewalk is almost certainly a more dangerous place to ride than in the average New England street. I have no idea why you think throwing the varying quality of paths adds anything to that discussion.
Only because what does or doesn't work in New England, right where you are is not the case everywhere. I understand that.

But my whole point is "everywhere" is not the same. So I am not saying to you specifically, but to those that can't see beyond their own neighborhood... that cyclists CAN ride sidewalks/sidepaths... and that a general rule against that, should not apply.
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Old 07-24-19, 05:06 AM
  #40  
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Riding on a genuine sidewalk as opposed to a paved mup can be quite dangerous o the bicyclist. That's because parked cars between the bicyclist and the traffic lane(s) can hide the bicyclist from the view of any motor vehicle driver turning into a driveway of any sort. Also, most drivers when looking for traffic on a sidewalk are looking for SLOW MOVING pedestrians not a faster moving bicyclist. Plus, a motorist glancing at the sidewalk looking for PEDESTRIANS often will not accurately judge a bicyclist's speed if the motorist even realizes it's a bicyclist and not a pedestrian. Then there's the problem that many sidewalk bicyclists encounter at intersections of streets where both the bicyclist and the motorists have very poor sight-lines to see each other. When riding on a sidewalk it's highly recommended that the bicyclist DISMOUNT and WALK across the intersection. In most areas if a bicyclist on a bicycle hits a pedestrian with the bicycle it's considered to be a vehicle/pedestrian collision and is supposed to be reported to police as such. Another thing to consider is that many pedestrians upon leaving a store or otherwise moving across a sidewalk is NOT expecting a bicycle to be on the sidewalk and therefore said pedestrian is quite likely to step right into the path of the bicyclist.

Cheers
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Old 07-24-19, 05:34 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Only because what does or doesn't work in New England, right where you are is not the case everywhere. I understand that.

But my whole point is "everywhere" is not the same. So I am not saying to you specifically, but to those that can't see beyond their own neighborhood... that cyclists CAN ride sidewalks/sidepaths... and that a general rule against that, should not apply.
I'm pushing back because I think you're wildly overstating the case for riding on sidewalks. Obviously, there are situations where the probabilities are different, but in general, there's no real doubt that sidewalk riding is more dangerous. I am making the "regional" observation only because a few posters have named cities where they live that have sidewalk riding as the norm. I've never seen that, and I assume they aren't lying or wrong about what they're seeing, so I have to assume there's something about those cities that reverses the usual probabilities.

I've lived (and ridden) in cities in Minnesota, California, New Orleans, New Hampshire, and Maine. In none of those places have I observed significant numbers of adult riders using the sidewalk for more than a few feet. Nowhere have I seen has large numbers of people staying on the sidewalk from block to block. The reason for this is obvious. By far, we experience the biggest likelihood of being hit at intersections, and riding on sidewalks provides absolutely no additional protection there, and your position to the side almost certainly makes it worse. Sidewalk riding just makes the likelihood of getting hit between the intersections more likely, plus it adds a very high probability of hitting a pedestrian or stroller as they emerge from behind a shrub, or from a door or gate, for example.

As far as drivers in driveways without looking, by far my greatest protection is my ability to see them coming so I can avoid. Riding on the sidewalk just reduces my time to observe this both because I am now crossing the driveway instead of being at the end of it and because it's much more likely that my view of the driveway is going to be obstructed by a bush or tree if I am on the sidewalk. If you're riding at 10 mph or less, these might not be serious considerations, but for anything faster, these reductions in reaction times is going to matter a lot.

I get that there are bad drivers everywhere, but the last thing people should do is take on a strategy that limits their ability to anticipate and avoid.

I mentioned two places where I habitually ride a short distance on sidewalks. Both of those involve a left hand turn or merge where street riding would involve dealing with cars coming at me in two or more different directions. I'm sure places like that exist in a lot of places, but that is likely an exceptional situation on almost anyone's ride.
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Old 07-24-19, 08:18 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Sure, it doesn't work everywhere... like in a dense downtown environment where there are driveways and cross streets that occur every 100 feet.
Or hundreds of, you know, pedestrians on each block.
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Old 07-24-19, 09:42 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Yup, there is that myth again... as some sidewalks ARE MUPs. Get over it.
Not a myth. Sidewalk ARE for pedestrian. However, cyclist may use them except where prohibited. MUPs are legal thoroughfares for cyclist, which is how they differ.
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Old 07-24-19, 05:57 PM
  #44  
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I suspect, @genec, that you are using your long years of experience to select the route that best satisfies your need to get to your destination in the safest (for you as well as those you encounter) and most responsible way. Good for you.

I have to say, though, that I feel a lot safer riding my bike on streets and roads as part of traffic than I ever did as a pedestrian on the sidewalk. I commuted by bike for many years in the late 1970s and 80s, then laid off cycling for many years, during which I commuted on foot. As a pedestrian, I had ten times more negative encounters with motor vehicles than I ever had riding my bike. When I resumed cycle commuting in 2012, a big motivation was that it was much less stressful than walking to work. You think that you're invisible to motorists on the road ... you're less than invisible on the sidewalk.
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Old 07-24-19, 06:29 PM
  #45  
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Sidewalks, sidepaths, bike paths and a divided road.
Folks, take a look at this and tell me it doesn't work...
https://www.google.com/maps/@28.0153...!3m1!1e3?hl=en
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Old 07-24-19, 07:20 PM
  #46  
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There are no absolutes. Yeah, maybe the bylaws prohibit sidewalk riding, maybe they don't. When I am riding with my 10 year old whose bike handling skills may not be as good as mine and with situational awareness of a ten year-old, I have not problem riding on the sidewalk with him. He rides slowly. It makes absolutely no sense for him to be on the sidewalk riding 15 kph, which is perfectly legal around here for a 10 year old, and me riding on the road at 15 kph next to cars doing 50 or 60. When we encounter pedestrians we slow down, and sometimes right down. We ring our bells when we approach from behind. It just makes common sense. At slow speeds we are slow enough to be able to react to cars backing out of driveways, cars making left turns and right turns, and any unexpected movement by pedestrians.

When I ride on my own, and on my road bike, and trying to keep up speed I don't ride on the road for all those reason stated above.

I think this guy sums it up pretty nicely: https://www.outsideonline.com/239811...g-on-sidewalks
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Old 07-24-19, 08:20 PM
  #47  
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Spot on!
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Old 07-24-19, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
There are no absolutes. Yeah, maybe the bylaws prohibit sidewalk riding, maybe they don't. When I am riding with my 10 year old whose bike handling skills may not be as good as mine and with situational awareness of a ten year-old, I have not problem riding on the sidewalk with him. He rides slowly. It makes absolutely no sense for him to be on the sidewalk riding 15 kph, which is perfectly legal around here for a 10 year old, and me riding on the road at 15 kph next to cars doing 50 or 60. When we encounter pedestrians we slow down, and sometimes right down. We ring our bells when we approach from behind. It just makes common sense. At slow speeds we are slow enough to be able to react to cars backing out of driveways, cars making left turns and right turns, and any unexpected movement by pedestrians.
Which would make for a very safe leisurely ride, but not a very athletic one.

When I ride on my own, and on my road bike, and trying to keep up speed I don't ride on the road for all those reason stated above.

I think this guy sums it up pretty nicely: https://www.outsideonline.com/239811...g-on-sidewalks
That reminds me of two interesting points:

Adults are expected to behave responsibly, while kids are not. And second, I have a bell on my bike and use it judiciously when I'm on a MUP. Even so, I can't remember the last time I heard a cyclist use a bell to warn me of their approach. They also don't slow down (whether on the sidewalks or on the road) expecting, correction, demanding instead for pedestrians to move out of their way.

Last edited by KraneXL; 07-26-19 at 01:37 AM. Reason: clarify sentence
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Old 07-25-19, 03:45 AM
  #49  
genec
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
Spot on!
It is an interesting view... now take it further and imagine never having to apologize as you rarey encounter pedestrians. And like the picture shown in the article (I wonder how many here will actually read it before blasting out some negative comment), the "sidewalk" is very wide, and you go fast, and maybe, it is smoothly paved vice full of those little gaps. And the "on street" alternative is a narrow 50 MPH road, one lane either way.

Is it then really the "sidewalk" that some here seem to deplore?

I posted an illustration a couple posts above that included a sidewalk, a sidepath, and a mulilaned not terribly high speed road. There were plenty of ways to get where you wanted to go.

But there are areas here that come down to narrow (one lane either way) fast (50 MPH) crowded (the only local road) with a sidepath (or is it a "sidewalk..." it's really wide)... your choice.

But no, this is NOT Boston, or NYC, or even Orlando, or Miami... where maybe the sidewalks are full of pedestrians and are legally and practicality "out of bounds."

Last edited by genec; 07-25-19 at 03:48 AM.
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Old 07-25-19, 12:22 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post


Sidewalks, sidepaths, bike paths and a divided road.
Folks, take a look at this and tell me it doesn't work...
https://www.google.com/maps/@28.0153...!3m1!1e3?hl=en
The paths look great. I wouldn't ride on those sidewalks on a bet. Way too many driveways.
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