Don't ride bikes on sidewalks

13

Replies

  • runnermom419
    runnermom419 Posts: 366 Member
    Well, I live in a city where it's more acceptable to ride your tractor or ATV around town than a bicycle. When riding on my own, I ride in the street. But if I'm with the kids, we are on the sidewalk with a parent in front and a parent in back.
  • firef1y72
    firef1y72 Posts: 1,579 Member
    Here in the UK it is illegal for adults to ride their bike on the pavement (sidewalk) and you can get a on the spot fine for doing so (same for other pedestrianised areas). Doesn't stop people doing it of course but when does everyone follow the rules.
    As for children we have a scheme where they are taught to ride safely on the road (used to be called cycling proficiency) that they do after school in year 6 (10-11years old) and its generally accepted that they should use the road once they've done this course and certainly by high school.
  • collectingblues
    collectingblues Posts: 2,540 Member
    edited March 2019
    lorrpb wrote: »
    I've found even some "mutli-use" trails are scarier than roads. Walkers, strollers, and dogs all over the place. You never know what they're going to do. YIKES!

    Further, @NorthCascades I found out that there is no statewide helmet law in WA. It's all regulated by cities and counties. And not very many across the state have them. It was shocking to me.
    https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/travel/commute-choices/bike/helmets

    Urg. THIS.

    I run on a multi use paved trail/road, with clearly marked and separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians. The number of cyclists who decide it’s ok to go into the pedestrian lane — and then have the audacity to get pissed off at the runners —is appalling.
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,249 Member
    hesn92 wrote: »
    Sorry. I ride on the sidewalk through my neighborhood because I ride up to the park with my three year old. My three year old is not riding his bike in the street. I go around pedestrians if there are any. What else should I do

    I think that your situation is pretty much the only acceptable excuse for riding on the sidewalk given that little kids tend to ride very slowly at the best of times. I'd certainly suggest being extra cautious at intersections as drivers aren't expecting bikes crossing the road especially if they're turning right and you're approaching from their right (hell, most of them don't even look for pedestrians....)
  • MichelleSilverleaf
    MichelleSilverleaf Posts: 2,028 Member
    Yeah, as nice as it would be to ride on the roads 100% I've had too many near misses with cars that it's not worth the risk. It's far easier to avoid pedestrians than a car who has no intention of giving you any space. I do however use bike lanes when available and ride on the roads on side streets since there's next to no traffic. But on main streets with no bike lanes? Nope. Never trust drivers.

    Just keep in mind the part about how dangerous driveways that cross the sidewalk are to you. Take extra care not to get hit there, because drivers really aren't looking out for you on the sidewalk.

    Drivers generally don't look period. I'm always as aware of cars around as I can be.
  • MelanieCN77
    MelanieCN77 Posts: 4,047 Member
    If you're cycling on the sidewalk and pop out onto a road to cross, you can get hit even if a motorist obeys all the rules of the road and looks around. The fact is at pedestrian crossings motorists are looking for things that move like pedestrians. In the time it takes me to turn my head one way and the other and see nothing, a bike can appear and be directly in my path. Also cycling up to such and screeching to a stop just before doesn't help either, how motorists supposed to know you are aware and stopping? Both of these things have happened to me multiple times. It's not necessarily safer on the sidewalk because you're not always on the sidewalk.
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
    Yeah, as nice as it would be to ride on the roads 100% I've had too many near misses with cars that it's not worth the risk. It's far easier to avoid pedestrians than a car who has no intention of giving you any space. I do however use bike lanes when available and ride on the roads on side streets since there's next to no traffic. But on main streets with no bike lanes? Nope. Never trust drivers.

    Just keep in mind the part about how dangerous driveways that cross the sidewalk are to you. Take extra care not to get hit there, because drivers really aren't looking out for you on the sidewalk.

    Drivers generally don't look period. I'm always as aware of cars around as I can be.

    Yeah I'm pretty sure the main reason I'm as aware of both cyclists and pedestrians as I am is because a. I got my license in when I was in my 20s so commuted without a car for a fairly long period of time and b. I've commuted by bike and am aware of what it's like to ride while sharing the road with cars.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,970 Member
    Very sorry to hear that @icemom011. Hugs and best wishes for you still feeling ok in the morning.

    How's your bike?
  • icemom011
    icemom011 Posts: 999 Member
    Very sorry to hear that @icemom011. Hugs and best wishes for you still feeling ok in the morning.

    How's your bike?

    Thank you very much. It's ok, making weird noise on the rear brake, but wheel seems ok, i will reinspect later, it's hard to move, and bending is too painful.
  • FireOpalCO
    FireOpalCO Posts: 641 Member
    I'm buying a bike for my birthday this weekend and you guys are making me nervous.
  • gaelicstorm
    gaelicstorm Posts: 94 Member
    As a non-bike rider (at the moment--would like to change that once the weather decides to be above 35 regularly) but avid walker (with my 100 lb dog) I would like to add that people on bikes should be following the rules for one-way streets. Nothing is more frightening to me than walking (or driving) and having a cyclist come flying towards me (especially when they are trying to be cool by not holding on to the handlebars or doing "tricks").

    In all fairness, I never see people who appear to be serious cyclists doing this--it is mostly teens. Nevertheless, very frightening to me.

    My children (8 and 9) ride their bikes in our neighborhood on the sidewalk for now. I want to get a bike for myself so we can start working on riding in the road. I am a bit nervous because there are cars that go flying through the neighborhood well over the 25 mph limit and my youngest is autistic and doesn't always "get" things the way his older brother does. Luckily we have a park adjacent to our home and they are getting some decent practice in on those trails where they can navigate around obstacles but there are no moving vehicles. Baby steps.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,970 Member
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    I'm buying a bike for my birthday this weekend and you guys are making me nervous.

    Most car vs bike accidents happen in a few specific ways. Don't ride though close to parked cars because you don't want the door prize. Be wary at intersections, a right hook is when a cyclist going straight ahead is hit by a car making a right turn. Know that drivers will room red lights, it isn't safe the moment it turns green. Be aware of your surroundings.
  • garystrickland357
    garystrickland357 Posts: 598 Member
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    I'm buying a bike for my birthday this weekend and you guys are making me nervous.

    Most car vs bike accidents happen in a few specific ways. Don't ride though close to parked cars because you don't want the door prize. Be wary at intersections, a right hook is when a cyclist going straight ahead is hit by a car making a right turn. Know that drivers will room red lights, it isn't safe the moment it turns green. Be aware of your surroundings.

    @NorthCascades Makes a good point. Riding in town/city is the most dangerous IMO for the reasons stated. It seems a bit counter intuitive but riding along the road (assuming good shoulders or lightly used roads) is safer. The traffic sees you better and they are more predictable. The consequences of an accident with a vehicle though are much more serious. I get out of town and on the road as quickly as possible. My gravel bike particularly has been nice. I might ride 50 miles on county gravel roads and literally see 1-2 vehicles.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,658 Member
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    I'm buying a bike for my birthday this weekend and you guys are making me nervous.

    I hear ya... Here's the way I look at things now:
    When I was obese I was killing myself one forkfull at a time. I stopped that and adopted healthier habits. I run and cycle. If someone takes me out, then that's on them - THEY hurt me as opposed to me hurting myself. I do all I can to be safe but there are risks. I think we have to remember that we are at risk every time we drive as well. I think we all just accept (or don't think about) that risk.

    Also, the risks we face depend very much on where we live. I live in rural Texas. Honestly, in all my years of cycling I've never had a serious incident. I've had some folks make me nervous, but that's it. Now that I think about it I was nearly hit twice in my car on the freeway when I was in Austin this past weekend. We shrug that off don't we?

    Many years ago, I quit smoking and drinking to excess and took up biking. After several close encounters at intersections, I joked that I had switched from slow suicide to a faster form of self-destruction. Eventually I stopped riding. I would love to get out on a bike again, but where I live has few wide bike lanes, and those are only on busy highways. The rest of the roads are twisting hill routes that have zero visibility. I don't mind running on them any more, because I can hear cars coming most of the time, but I think it's too dangerous for bikes.
  • must_deflate
    must_deflate Posts: 183 Member
    edited April 2019
    Where I live there are enough bike lanes and side streets that I can ride safely in the street MOST of the time to get where I need to go. But not always. Some places, it would be suicidal and traffic-obstructing, and then I ride on the sidewalk. But I don't run down pedestrians and I am always aware that cars pulling out into traffic aren't expecting to encounter a bike speeding down the sidewalk.

    I live in Florida and Florida law says:

    Sidewalk Operation:
    316.2065 (9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

    316.2065 (10) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.

    Bicycles can be legally operated on all Florida sidewalks and crosswalks unless a local ordinance prohibits it. When on a sidewalk, the operator is operating a vehicle and must use helmets and lights when required, and is subject to the DUI laws. Otherwise, the operator has the rights and duties of a pedestrian, but must yield to all pedestrians.


    So. It's legal (in Florida anyway) but you must yield to pedestrians.
    I.e., don't be a jerk. Ride slowly so you don't crash into people. And warn them when passing.

    And there are common sense rules:
    Don't be a moron. When you are approaching a driveway, slow down and make sure a car isn't about to pull out in front of you. Etc.
  • garystrickland357
    garystrickland357 Posts: 598 Member
    edited April 2019
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    I'm buying a bike for my birthday this weekend and you guys are making me nervous.

    I hear ya... Here's the way I look at things now:
    When I was obese I was killing myself one forkfull at a time. I stopped that and adopted healthier habits. I run and cycle. If someone takes me out, then that's on them - THEY hurt me as opposed to me hurting myself. I do all I can to be safe but there are risks. I think we have to remember that we are at risk every time we drive as well. I think we all just accept (or don't think about) that risk.

    Also, the risks we face depend very much on where we live. I live in rural Texas. Honestly, in all my years of cycling I've never had a serious incident. I've had some folks make me nervous, but that's it. Now that I think about it I was nearly hit twice in my car on the freeway when I was in Austin this past weekend. We shrug that off don't we?

    Many years ago, I quit smoking and drinking to excess and took up biking. After several close encounters at intersections, I joked that I had switched from slow suicide to a faster form of self-destruction. Eventually I stopped riding. I would love to get out on a bike again, but where I live has few wide bike lanes, and those are only on busy highways. The rest of the roads are twisting hill routes that have zero visibility. I don't mind running on them any more, because I can hear cars coming most of the time, but I think it's too dangerous for bikes.

    And that's valid for sure. I have much safer places to ride. Were I in your situation I might make the same choice.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,970 Member
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    I'm buying a bike for my birthday this weekend and you guys are making me nervous.

    Most car vs bike accidents happen in a few specific ways. Don't ride though close to parked cars because you don't want the door prize. Be wary at intersections, a right hook is when a cyclist going straight ahead is hit by a car making a right turn. Know that drivers will room red lights, it isn't safe the moment it turns green. Be aware of your surroundings.

    @NorthCascades Makes a good point. Riding in town/city is the most dangerous IMO for the reasons stated. It seems a bit counter intuitive but riding along the road (assuming good shoulders or lightly used roads) is safer. The traffic sees you better and they are more predictable. The consequences of an accident with a vehicle though are much more serious. I get out of town and on the road as quickly as possible. My gravel bike particularly has been nice. I might ride 50 miles on county gravel roads and literally see 1-2 vehicles.

    This is a good point.

    There's been a movement in the road cycling world lately, "gravel" riding. Also called "adventure cycling." It's the convergence of many things, but a big part of it is getting off the heavily trafficed roads where the cars are.