Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Riding on sidewalks

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Riding on sidewalks

Old 12-14-18, 05:48 PM
  #1  
Rajflyboy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 506
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 27 Times in 25 Posts
Riding on sidewalks

We rented bikes at the beach recently. The store owner said we needed to ride on the sidewalks and not the road. He said too many people are getting hurt riding on the roads in the town.

We took his advice and stayed on either the beach or sidewalk. We were patient with the pedestrians.

I think we did the right thing. Safe thing.

What say you ?
Rajflyboy is offline  
Old 12-14-18, 06:05 PM
  #2  
mcours2006
Senior Member
 
mcours2006's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 5,685

Bikes: Giant Rapid, Bianchi Advantage, Specialized Roubaix, 1985 Gardin Quatro, Norco Threshold, Raleigh Serengheti MTB

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1720 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 22 Posts
Sure...seems like quite a few of sidewalk riding threads going on right now.

As long as you're not buzzing by pedestrians at a high speed. But there may be bylaws against sidewalk riding in your area. I would assume the shop owner would know this...but then again he's just worried about his bikes getting totaled in a crash and not necessarily about your safety.
mcours2006 is offline  
Old 12-14-18, 06:12 PM
  #3  
jon c. 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 3,732
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 983 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 26 Times in 21 Posts
Depends on the town and the sidewalk.
jon c. is offline  
Old 12-14-18, 06:46 PM
  #4  
52telecaster
ambulatory senior
 
52telecaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Peoria Il
Posts: 2,649

Bikes: Bob Jackson World Tour, 81 miyata 912 and 86 miyata 312.

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 816 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 10 Posts
On really busy roads with no pedestrians i call sidewalks "curb protected bike lanes".
52telecaster is offline  
Old 12-14-18, 06:47 PM
  #5  
VegasTriker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sin City, Nevada
Posts: 2,123

Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 305 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 8 Posts
This has been discussed extensively in the Advocacy and Safety section. Look there to see what most people who respond - stay off the sidewalks.

One factor is that drivers who cross a sidewalk do not expect anything moving faster than a pedestrian to be crossing in front of them. I nearly hit a cyclist adjacent to the UNLV campus who was riding on the wrong side of the street, moving fast, and on the sidewalk. It is only by the grace of God that I didn't run him over because even though I had looked for peds, he came whipping across the street just as I was about to start out.
VegasTriker is offline  
Old 12-14-18, 07:04 PM
  #6  
Marcus_Ti 
Frozen Solid.
 
Marcus_Ti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 4,672

Bikes: Roadie: Seven Axiom Race Ti w/Chorus 11s. CX/Adventure: Carver Gravel Grinder w/ Di2

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1923 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 38 Posts
Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
This has been discussed extensively in the Advocacy and Safety section. Look there to see what most people who respond - stay off the sidewalks.

One factor is that drivers who cross a sidewalk do not expect anything moving faster than a pedestrian to be crossing in front of them. I nearly hit a cyclist adjacent to the UNLV campus who was riding on the wrong side of the street, moving fast, and on the sidewalk. It is only by the grace of God that I didn't run him over because even though I had looked for peds, he came whipping across the street just as I was about to start out.
More like...drivers don't expect anything to be moving in the sidewalk ever. Peds or cyclists. It is basically a given at every crosswalk I come to that a car is going to stop at a red light right in the middle of it fully blocking it. I also expect right/left turns on red without checking for peds. It happens so frequently that is what normal is.


Only when the light turns red and their vehicle is fully impeding the crosswalk do the look and act surprised someone wants to use the legal facilities.
Marcus_Ti is offline  
Old 12-14-18, 07:14 PM
  #7  
debade
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: WA
Posts: 220

Bikes: Trek Domane, Trek 2120, Trek 520, Schwinn Voyager step through

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
From my reviews of safe bicycle riding, the sidewalk is less safe than the street. Marcus_Ti points out the key reason. It turns out that the highest accident in our town is a sidewalk. The town, which is slow to encourage bicycling on a wide basis, did create a bike lane on a sidewalk next to one of our small town, busy street. The result was the highest accident rate in the city. It crosses busy shopping driveways. Motorists do not look along the sidewalk and consequently accidents occur.
debade is offline  
Old 12-14-18, 07:17 PM
  #8  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,488
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8518 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 65 Posts
It depends on many factors.

I'm a through cyclist. My typical daily ride is about 30 miles (including a few stops). Sidewalks just have far too many crossings to deal with.

On the other hand, there is at least one place where I'll make a left turn onto a 4+1 lane road, and turn into a business about 1 block later on the left side. And, it just makes sense to hit the sidewalk for that block.

In another situations, I find it is easier/safer to cross a moderately main road, about 1 block east of the business driveway, so I head down the left sidewalk for about a block, then cut across when traffic allows.

Oh, and a third place, an off-street MUP dumps me out on the left side of a busy 2-lane road. The first light has no trip-switch for bicycles, so I find myself moving down about 1 block to the second light that I can trip the switch, and get over onto the right side and bike lane.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 10:26 AM
  #9  
Paul Barnard
For The Fun of It
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 3,820

Bikes: Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 947 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 48 Posts
Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
More like...drivers don't expect anything to be moving in the sidewalk ever. Peds or cyclists. It is basically a given at every crosswalk I come to that a car is going to stop at a red light right in the middle of it fully blocking it. I also expect right/left turns on red without checking for peds. It happens so frequently that is what normal is.


Only when the light turns red and their vehicle is fully impeding the crosswalk do the look and act surprised someone wants to use the legal facilities.
On rare occasion I end up stopped in the crosswalk and I hate being "that guy."
Paul Barnard is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 10:28 AM
  #10  
Paul Barnard
For The Fun of It
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 3,820

Bikes: Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 947 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 48 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
It depends on many factors.

I'm a through cyclist. My typical daily ride is about 30 miles (including a few stops). Sidewalks just have far too many crossings to deal with.

On the other hand, there is at least one place where I'll make a left turn onto a 4+1 lane road, and turn into a business about 1 block later on the left side. And, it just makes sense to hit the sidewalk for that block.

In another situations, I find it is easier/safer to cross a moderately main road, about 1 block east of the business driveway, so I head down the left sidewalk for about a block, then cut across when traffic allows.

Oh, and a third place, an off-street MUP dumps me out on the left side of a busy 2-lane road. The first light has no trip-switch for bicycles, so I find myself moving down about 1 block to the second light that I can trip the switch, and get over onto the right side and bike lane.
There are places I will do that as well. I move along those stretches slowly and with due regard for the unique hazards associated with sidewalk cycling.
Paul Barnard is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 10:54 AM
  #11  
Rajflyboy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 506
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 27 Times in 25 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
There are places I will do that as well. I move along those stretches slowly and with due regard for the unique hazards associated with sidewalk cycling.

i do think a combination of both sidewalk and road will produce the best results.
Rajflyboy is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 11:13 AM
  #12  
ironwood
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Boston area
Posts: 1,697

Bikes: 1984 Bridgestone 400 1985Univega nouevo sport 650b conversion 1993b'stone RBT 1985 Schwinn Tempo

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
There are times when the sidewalk is safer, use your own judgement. In any case, give the pedestrians the right of way, and warn them politely if you are passing them.
ironwood is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 11:15 AM
  #13  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 5,545

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1333 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 37 Times in 21 Posts
I ride on pedestrian sidewalks almost every day. I do it mostly to by-pass sections of certain roads which I feel are unsafe to ride on.... We also have a few MUPS which run along the major roads and they're are no different than a sidewalk, just much wider and smoother...I agree that riding on a sidewalk can be dangerous but most of the danger comes from you not being aware and not paying attention. All you need to do is to use caution, common sense and be extra cautious when crossing intersections and driveways. If you get hit by a car or if you hit somebody while riding on a sidewalk it's 100% your fault for not being aware and not paying attention to what's going on around you and not slowing down. If a cyclist decides to ride on a sidewalk they need to take 100% responsibility for their decision and stop blaming somebody else if something goes wrong.
wolfchild is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 11:42 AM
  #14  
Marcus_Ti 
Frozen Solid.
 
Marcus_Ti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 4,672

Bikes: Roadie: Seven Axiom Race Ti w/Chorus 11s. CX/Adventure: Carver Gravel Grinder w/ Di2

Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1923 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 38 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
On rare occasion I end up stopped in the crosswalk and I hate being "that guy."
Ditto here. That "claiming the intersection" reflex...leads to annoyance.
Marcus_Ti is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 11:51 AM
  #15  
Rajflyboy
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 506
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 27 Times in 25 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I ride on pedestrian sidewalks almost every day. I do it mostly to by-pass sections of certain roads which I feel are unsafe to ride on.... We also have a few MUPS which run along the major roads and they're are no different than a sidewalk, just much wider and smoother...I agree that riding on a sidewalk can be dangerous but most of the danger comes from you not being aware and not paying attention. All you need to do is to use caution, common sense and be extra cautious when crossing intersections and driveways. If you get hit by a car or if you hit somebody while riding on a sidewalk it's 100% your fault for not being aware and not paying attention to what's going on around you and not slowing down. If a cyclist decides to ride on a sidewalk they need to take 100% responsibility for their decision and stop blaming somebody else if something goes wrong.

amen
Rajflyboy is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 12:09 PM
  #16  
BazookaFro
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 28
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
To me it seems entirely dependant on where you are riding. I used to live in between the city and suburbia. When anywhere near the city I agree it was not safe to ride on the sidewalk, Partially because some are super narrow, partially because even the wider sidewalks are usually covered in foot traffic. The only exception was when I was transitioning to the mups. But in the suburbs, I am not putting myself alongside traffic going 50 at a minimum. I take the bike lanes when I can, but it is a total crapshoot wether or not a given neighborhood will have any to speak of. I make an effort to stick to mups and side streets when possible, but any major roads I usually end up on the sidewalk until I get to the next mup entrance/sidestreet.
BazookaFro is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 12:37 PM
  #17  
bicyclridr4life
Bicyclerider4life
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Florida and Idaho
Posts: 1,065

Bikes: Huffy Beach Cruisers, Miami Sun Trike, Vertical PK7, KHS Montana Summit, Giant Cypress DX, Schwinn OCC Stingray

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 137 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
There are a few streets here where it is not safe to ride in the street.
4 lanes plus a center turn lane. Two Feet from the curb to the traffic. Posted speed limit is 35 mph, the prevailing traffic is going 40 to 45 mph.
Traffic lights are "timed" so you can go the 6 mile length of the street without hitting a red light. (I swear this city uses the stoplights to bunch traffic together ... 5 to 8 minute green lights. It is really bad at the 5 point intersections if you hit the light there red. Only one direction of traffic gets a green light at a time. I suspect the city "traffic engineer" and/or at least one council member owns a gas station.)
Cyclists are encouraged by law enforcement to ride the sidewalks.
There is also a city ordinance that gets the cyclist a ticket if there is more than six cars backed up behind him/her.
No, it does not matter if the first "driver" behind the cyclist is afraid to pass said cyclist with no less than 40 feet between their vehicle and the cyclist. The cyclist still gets a ticket for blocking/delaying traffic.

In short, if there is a sidewalk/bike path (one in the same in most of this city) on my route, I use it.
bicyclridr4life is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 01:06 PM
  #18  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,665
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 633 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 28 Posts
In my locale, riding on the sidewalk is not illegal. I think it's situational. Do whatever's safer, more considerate, etc.

For the rental bikes, it may depend on who is riding the bikes, and the shop owner may have a sense of this. I'd expect a streetwise cyclist to make their own call -- perhaps after they're out of sight of the shop.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 02:16 PM
  #19  
KraneXL
 
KraneXL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: La-la Land, CA
Posts: 3,187

Bikes: Cannondale Quick SL1 Bike - 2014

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2811 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 54 Posts
Riding on sidewalks are for kids.
KraneXL is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 02:22 PM
  #20  
ironwood
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Boston area
Posts: 1,697

Bikes: 1984 Bridgestone 400 1985Univega nouevo sport 650b conversion 1993b'stone RBT 1985 Schwinn Tempo

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Riding on sidewalks are for kids.
There are people who think riding bicycles is for kids. Maybe we're all just kids.
ironwood is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 02:24 PM
  #21  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 5,545

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1333 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 37 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Riding on sidewalks are for kids.
So says a guy who lives in a bike-friendly area and has a nice cycling infrastructure and nice weather all year round.
wolfchild is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 02:49 PM
  #22  
CrowSeph
On the crow's wings
 
CrowSeph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: South Italy
Posts: 389

Bikes: 1-Crow (Road) , 2- Miwokian (Mtb) , 3- Folding Bike, 4- Condorino 1970 5-City Bike from 1925 and others...

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Trust me , do not ride on sidewalk. I got hit by a car when i was right to get off the sidewalk. And the results where 100€+ on damage on the car and 70€+ damage on my bike......
CrowSeph is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 04:10 PM
  #23  
52telecaster
ambulatory senior
 
52telecaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Peoria Il
Posts: 2,649

Bikes: Bob Jackson World Tour, 81 miyata 912 and 86 miyata 312.

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 816 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Riding on sidewalks are for kids.
you would be a dead adult if you routinely took the lane where i choose the sidewalk.
52telecaster is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 05:57 PM
  #24  
daoswald
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Salt Lake City, UT (Formerly Los Angeles, CA)
Posts: 1,025

Bikes: 2008 Cannondale Synapse -- 2014 Cannondale Quick CX

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 175 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 26 Times in 14 Posts
1300 East street southbound between Sandy, UT and Draper. Bike lane abruptly ends at Sandy City limit. Speed limit is 45mph, two lanes each direction, heavy traffic. The road narrows so that the right lane's stripe is a four inches from the gutter. The lanes are not wide enough to share.

If one car were to do the right thing by getting over to pass the car behind wouldn't see me in time, and chances are the traffic in the left lane is tight enough an emergency swerve wouldn't be possible. At 50mph actual speed, and me around 20, I would be struck at a 30mph speed differential in less time than the driver has to think and react.

The sidewalk would be great here were it not for the trees planted here and there narrowing it down to a width I fear my handlebars wouldn't clear unless I'm extremely careful.

I just have to take alternate routes. How dumb it is to have a good bike lane end, dischargi g riders onto a death-trap road.

That's the only place I wish to ride on sidewalks near where I live. Where I used to live in Los Angeles I wished for a proper sidewalk going over Cahuenga Pass from Hollywood into the Valley. Another death-trap area I attempted once and resolved never again
daoswald is offline  
Old 12-15-18, 06:05 PM
  #25  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,488
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8518 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 65 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
On rare occasion I end up stopped in the crosswalk and I hate being "that guy."
It is rare that I block a crosswalk with a car. But, I do like to pull ahead of a line of cars (while staying to the right). So, I'm frequently stopped at least partly in a sidewalk, at least when there is nobody walking/riding on the sidewalk. I can normally maneuver some if I find myself in the way.

The most annoying one for cars is a median strip bike path where cars pull off the freeway, drive to the middle of the median strip, and park in the middle of the bike path crossing, waiting to do a left turn. And, since they may no longer have a green light, one can't predict when they might move.
CliffordK is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.