Riding On The Sidewalk

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by sunshiney, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. sunshiney

    sunshiney Member

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    I always try to stick to the road, and obviously the bike lanes where they exist, but there are a few places in my commute where the only safe option is to hop up on the sidewalk for awhile. I know it bothers pedestrians on foot but I'm always super aware of who's coming and going and I only do it when I need to, as well as pulling off to the side to let people pass.

    When I'm on foot I don't generally mind if a cyclist is on the sidewalk, but it can get really annoying when there's an open bike lane or a road with very light traffic they could be using. Cyclists in groups on the sidewalk can be particularly frustrating/dangerous, especially if they're not willing to make room or if you've got small children or a stroller with you.

    In my neighborhood adult tricycles are becoming really popular, and it's a bit of a conundrum because they literally take up the entire sidewalk and are impossible to get past without stepping into traffic. On the other hand, they don't really seem safe to operate on the road either and look like they would take up too much room on the shoulder.

    When you're commuting do you ever ride on the sidewalk or do you try to avoid it?
     
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  2. Keyan

    Keyan Member

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    Just like you I also had the same experience with cyclist using the pavement or sidewalk even if the bike lanes are free. I do not want other people to have the same not so convenient experience that is why I am now more mindful of my impact on other people including my surroundings. So no , I will avoid the sidewalk at all times.
     
  3. joshposh

    joshposh Banned

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    In the small community that I grew up in, it was still against the law to ride any bike on the side walks. It was legal to ride it on the street but on the far right side because there was no bike lanes. Mind you this was along time ago in a historical plantation style town. The cops in the town knew that there were dangers of riding in the streets so they allowed cyclist to use the sidewalks when I was growing up. I can image that it has changed now that new cops and transferring in all the time.
     
  4. dragtuning1995

    dragtuning1995 New Member

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    I personally don't like riding on the sidewalk because I know it annoys people and gets in their way but sometimes I have to use the sidewalk because I think it would be just too dangerous on the road and there isn't a bike lane. If the sidewalk is busy I won't use it at all so I don't get in peoples way. What I don't like are the large tricycles you were talking about, they take up most of the sidewalk but they expect right of way. I just don't think are very practical for the sidewalk.
     
  5. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I live in the suburbs, in a town adjacent to Metro Manila. In the morning rush hour, it is common to see riders of bikes and motorcycles treading the sidewalks. One morning during a heavy traffic, I noticed a traffic officer stopping those riders on the sidewalk. It looked like he was giving tickets for the illegal use of the sidewalk. However, how can he issue tickets to bike riders who don't need a license to ride?

    Here is a video of the state of traffic in Metro Manila - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu3nTcbcfX4
     
  6. sunshiney

    sunshiney Member

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    Wow, I can't believe that traffic! Anyone who's willing to go out in that on any kind of bike is way braver than I am, I wouldn't blame anyone for making use of the sidewalk where available in those conditions.

    I guess cyclists can get tickets in the same way that someone on foot could get a ticket for littering, if riding on the sidewalk is specifically against the law. It seems kind of unfair to penalize people for doing their best with a terrible infrastructure though.
     
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  7. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    As a kid I rode on the paths a lot but now I use roads exclusively and cycle lanes/paths if there are any around. I saw a video a few days ago of a young kiddie getting hit at some speed by a cyclist who was riding along the pavement and that just makes me even more inclined to use roads.
     
  8. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    That's actually the reason why those riders are prohibited to use the sidewalks. There were lots of incidents that 2-wheels hit pedestrians. Although the injuries are slight since the bikes move slow, still it's an accident. I would never use the sidewalk when I ride, I cannot imagine to do that.

    @sunshiney, traffic enforcers here may not know that they can issue tickets to bike riders who violate traffic rules. All they know is that riders are considered pedestrians.. that applies to bike and motorcycle riders.
     
  9. Jcycle

    Jcycle Active Member

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    I avoid it. Where I live it isn't lawful to ride on a sidewalk anymore than it is for somebody to drive a car on a sidewalk. That is the way it should be.
     
  10. kuroba

    kuroba Member

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    I try to avoid riding on the sidewalk, most of my commute is on a bicycle path anyway. But here and there, sometimes I have to do it. Here, legally, bicycles are considered vehicles and as such we have to use the road, or bike paths, if there are any.
     
  11. Nukuhiva

    Nukuhiva Active Member

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    I've just learned that it is technically legal here to ride on the sidewalk, as long as you don't interfere with pedestrians. Which only comes into play in the university and downtown areas, no one walks elsewhere.
    I only ride on sidewalks when absolutely necessary for my personal safety or if there's literally no other option.
     
  12. Jcycle

    Jcycle Active Member

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    Whether it is legal or not where you live it still seems like common sense not to do it. In most places, at least in the United States (not sure about other nations) regardless of the legality of riding on a sidewalk, a pedestrian has the right of way. Heck, the pedestrian has the right of way in the street for that matter. Taking your bike onto the sidewalk is just asking for trouble.
     
  13. briannagodess

    briannagodess Member

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    I don't really ride my bike on the sidewalks. I know most people here are annoyed by that. Would you believe even some motorcycles ride the sidewalk? As dangerous it is for a bike, it is more dangerous if motorcycles ride the sidewalk. Anyway, I mostly bike around our village so the road is almost always clear. There are no bike lanes however, so I have to be very careful whenever I'm riding my bike. It's not unusual to see speeding vehicles once in a while, even in a village.
     
  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I avoid sidewalks at all times, UNLESS that sidewalk is part of a bike path which is rare but it does happen, even then, depending on the situation, I may use the street.
     
  15. moneyman

    moneyman Member

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    In my city there is little few pavements with a lane for bicycles in comparison with the population. In my opinion there should be more of them. I hate it when I have to ride my bike among the cars and other traffic just because the city don't want to invest in wider pavements.
     
  16. Jcycle

    Jcycle Active Member

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    Bicycles are vehicles. A side walk is a pedestrian right of way. You shouldn't operate a vehicle on a sidewalk. Plain and simple from my perspective. Get off and walk if you need to use the sidewalk.
     
  17. sunshiney

    sunshiney Member

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    There's one area that I pass through that has a sidewalk marked down the middle for foot traffic on one side and cyclists on the other, and it seems like a good compromise.

    A lot of people here ride on the sidewalk in places and depending on the area pedestrians share the space fairly naturally. I'm living in a small suburb though and there's generally lots of room, in the middle of downtown where there's traffic everywhere, on foot and otherwise, bikes on the sidewalk are much less accepted. People don't seem to want cyclists on the road either to be honest.
     
  18. Jcycle

    Jcycle Active Member

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    Yeah, unless it is clearly marked for bicycle and pedestrian use or otherwise designed to accommodate both this is the best approach.
     
  19. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    We were in Vietnam last weekend for a brief vacation. We stayed in a hotel in Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh city. What I noticed in the streets are the ubiquitous motorcycles and bicycles that far outnumber 4-wheeled vehicles. Not just once but several times we missed being hit by cyclists and motorcyclists who used the sidewalk in avoiding the traffic stop. But instead of being peeved, I got my camera and took a video of those rascals on two wheels. It seems that sidewalks are legal to be used by 2-wheelers there.
     
  20. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I had friends who went back to Vietnam after fighting there...I have no desire to ever go there again.
     
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