24 March 2009

Remember Kids, Don't Ride on the Sidewalk

sidewalk
My friend and I were just talking about why she shouldn't ride her bike on the sidewalk (and when to bend that rule). I think this image captures what I was trying to say far better than the thousand words it's purportedly worth.

I saved this image a long time ago, and can't provide attribution. I'd love to fix that...

10 comments:

Dominic Dougherty said...

A nice video that makes the same point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JklYGr_nz-8

melancholic optimist said...

In Portland, it's illegal to ride on the sidewalks downtown, but it's ok everywhere else. I personally don't really like riding on the sidewalks anyway, but it is sometimes convenient for short periods. I think it's important to remember that to some extent, bikes are to pedestrians as cars are to bikes, ride slowly, ring your bell to let them know you're there, try not to surprise them :)

Paula said...

I just had a conversation yesterday with someone who insisted that he has to ride on the sidewalk in the city and when he can't do that, he has to ride against traffic in the street on the left side. Because the cars don't care he has to protect himself. He's the cyclist who makes me afraid of cars when I cycle (because drivers get angry at bikers in general because of people like him) and afraid of cyclists when I drive (because I can't trust all cyclists to act sensibly).

Menotomy Vintage Bicycles said...

The 'business districts' (Squares) around Beantown are small and it is easier and safer for a person with a cycle to walk their bikes. It is probably faster, too. Linearly-speaking, the squares are only a couple blocks.

When I see a rider weaving through people on sidewalks I want to throw an elbow. It gives us all a bad name.
Here’s a 15 second clip of more people doing good and bad cycling (1950s again)

http://oldroads.com/intro/becurrent5_0007.wmv

anna said...

I like the comic. In Austria children have to ride on the sidewalk if they are younger than 10 years and if they are not in company of an adult. If they are between 10 and 12, they are allowed to ride on the road if they have a special bike license. And from 12 onwards everybody has to cycle on the road.

Since I'm 10 years old I ride on the road, and that's also the only way of cycling that I can recommend ;-). It's much safer and faster.

jb said...

That's why it's called a sideWALK and not a sideride.

Chiara Kael said...

its illegal to ride on sidewalks in toronto, and its mandatory to wear a helmet for people 18 years of age and younger...

Charlotte said...

Hey Chiara,
It's illegal here too, but enforcement is spotty in any case.

I wish someone would cite the man who rides full-speed down the sidewalk while blowing his police whistle. He terrifies people! There's another well-known man with a mental handicap who has always ridden his trike on the sidewalk. He goes slowly enough that people aren't terrorized.

cris said...

we were looking forward to riding bikes while visiting Japan but were actually a little alarmed and turned off with how de rigeur sidewalk riding was in places like Kyoto or Tokyo. Given that the main traffic roads had no shoulders and were relatively congested, it's understandable, but constantly weaving a bike through a crush of pedestrians while also trying to be aware of other cyclists in front of and behind you, doesn't lend itself to a stress-free vacation!

Still it made me thankful that sidewalk riding isn't more prevalent in North America.

miss sarah said...

Such controversy! I know we're not supposed to... but NEVER riding on a sidewalk is so absolute. When I'm up on the sidewalk, I'm not even pedaling or going fast. I know I should dismount and walk it... but those of you who ride your bikes often understand that one just gets used to being on the bike, so you maneuver slowly and carefully.

I have the same issue with crossing crosswalks on the bike. No, I don't always get off and walk it. And everyone I know who doesn't ride a bike HATES me for not dismounting at a crosswalk. Sigh...