It’s the obligation of anyone without a deathwish to make sure you’re not going to get run over. Sheesh, in this day of people texting and driving and what have you, you need to be very defensive.
Bicycle laws are ususally local so you have to check with each village or city hall. According to Chicago Department of Transportation -
*9-52-020- Riding bicycles on sidewalks and certain roadways - Permalink
(a) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district. (b) No person 12 or more years of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district, unless such sidewalk has been officially designated and marked as a bicycle route. © Bicycles shall not be operated on Lake Shore Drive or on any roadway where the operation of bicycles has been prohibited and signs have been erected indicating such prohibition. (d) Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.
Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634*
http://www.chicagobikes.org/bikelaws/index.php?show=search&terms=riding bikes on crosswalks
I learned the hard way to make eye contact with people I don’t wish to collide with. That covers everything from skateboarders to pilots taxiing by.
Per Caltrans and FHWA, if the walkway isn’t 12 feet wide, it doesn’t have enough room for pedestrians and cyclists. But that means that a design that calls something narrower a ped/bike path won’t qualify for a California or Federal grant. It doesn’t have any enforcement value.
Actually I would like to amend my statement; riding a bike on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic is the second stupidest thing you can do on a bike.
In order here are the top three stupidest things you can do on a bike.
#3 ride without a helmet. Should be self explanatory. If it isn’t, then you don’t need the helmet.
#2 Riding on the sidewalk against the flow of traffic. Yes you are on the sidewalk, and yes the driver should look. The problem is a leisurely ride on a bike is say 9-12 MPH, where a leisurely pace for a pedestrian is 2-3 MPH. You are easily going 4X as fast as a person on foot. The driver is used to looking to the right for X distance for pedestrians, not 4X distance. Assuming the driver is going to turn right, his attention is focused to the left. You are approaching from the right. Even the best of drivers don’t have eyes in the back of their head. The second problem is yes the driver should look, and I know this will comes as a shock but they don’t always look. Here is my cite for that. BTW In Texas a buddy of mine was the driver in such a accident and the cop cited the bike rider. The rider was drunk, but the cop said basically he was riding the wrong way on a sidewalk.
#1 Riding against traffic in the street. This takes #2 and kicks it up a notch or two. Picture a guy that is leaving a driveway. He has stopped before the driveway, and looked both ways for pedestrians and bikes. He has pulled across the sidewalk safely, and pulled out to where his front bumper is about even with the left side of the parked cars. All he needs is if traffic to his left to clear. He waits 60 seconds for traffic to clear and he takes his foot off the brake. If a rider has ridden in front of him, the driver’s first indication of a bike will be the crunch of his tires going over the bike and rider. Or picture a driver pulling out from a parking space, they are looking behind them NOT in front of them.
Seriously dude I am very glad you are OK. But buy a vowel get a clue and ride in the street with the flow of traffic. It really is the safest way.
You know all those roadies you see in Lycra on multi-thousand $ road bikes? Watch how they ride. They are putting on hundreds of miles each week without accidents. They always ride with traffic and in the street, and they always wear a helmet.
Honolulu for one.
Yeah. I’m surprised riding on sidewalks is legal in many places. It could be because I grew up in Chicago, but around here, as your cite says, nobody but children are allowed to ride on sidewalks legally, and that’s what I was taught growing up here in the 80s.
Right of way means nothing when you’ve been squashed like a bug.
Here’s the thing: put yourself in the driver’s position. You are waiting to exit a parking lot by turning right onto a street. Drivers expect other cars and look for other cars, and when you’re turning right, you only bother checking traffic to your left, because that’s the only traffic you expect to deal with. So while we should all ideally check both left and right when exiting a parking lot, it rarely happens.
Pedestrians? Pedestrians are slow and scared. Plus, there’s a good chance they’ll go behind the vehicle instead of in front of it. They don’t take chances around trucks.
Bicyclists? They’re supposed to be on the street going with the flow of traffic and would be seen when looking left to check for oncoming traffic.
So, basically, you put yourself on the side the driver is least likely to check and decided that because you had right of way (you didn’t; you were supposed to be on the street), nothing bad could happen to you. That’s a really efficient way to die. Please don’t do it again.
Simple. You’re a human being.
We are actually terrible at stuff like that. We go on automatic at the blink of an eye, and if we encounter something we don’t expect, half the time, it doesn’t even register on our conscious minds. Ask a motorcycle rider how often car drivers don’t even notice them and just how deadly that is.
Or, better yet, watch this video and tell me if
you see the gorilla.
Half the viewers don’t, and most of them think it’s a made up joke until they rewatch the video.
Where I live (Nassau County, NY) if you’re over the age of sixteen, it’s illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk.
I don’t trust people at intersections waiting to turn into traffic. Assuming they’ve seen me especially when I haven’t seen them make eye contact with me isn’t a risk I’m willing to take as I walk infront of their car. But even if I know they have seen me, I usually walk behind their car. As a driver, I’d know I’d appreciate it if I was trying to get onto a busy st. Win, Win or Live, win.
I’m shocked there are places where it IS legal.
Your bike has no fuck’n place on the sidewalk. Old people and toddlers are using the sidewalk because that’s the only safe place for them.
I ride a Harley. I can’t tell you how often I’ve made eye contact with people who just try to run me over anyhow.
To the OP, I’m glad you are still alive. When you are out and about, its YOUR responsibility to take care of yourself. Don’t trust anyone. Ever. You will die if you do.
Ibanez you are so right. When I’m walking, I don’t care if the person in the car acted like they saw me. I don’t care if they waved me through. I’m walking behind their car because I don’t want to end up dead.
My understanding is they don’t ticket you for it either – they just confiscate your bike.
Lets see, in GQ, you damn near killed yourself with your own car when it tried to run over you -
Now, you’re damn near killed by a truck trying to run over you…
Please, do not go anywhere near a train station - it could be your Final Destination!
Seriously, what did you do to piss off the Vehicular Goddess?
My wife is blind in her right eye. It’s noted on her drivers license, but she’s never had a problem getting a license.
Depth perception isn’t the problem- our eyes are so close to each other that it’s pretty much just 2D past five feet away. The issue is that she’s got less peripheral vision on her right side, so she has to compensate by turning her head more to the right when she drives.
Sorry if I’m being redundant, but riding in the street is MUCH safer because a bike technically speaking is a vehicle- the only difference between a bicycle and say a scooter or a motorcycle is you’re powering it with your legs, not an engine.
In New York city, and most likely New York State as a whole (as someone from Long Island posted bike laws that are very similar to NYC’s) a bicycle by law has to follow the rules of the road like a car does.
It’s safer to ride in the street because there aren’t obstacles like pedestrians blocking your way and when you cross the street situations like the one you described are unlikely to happen. If you’re riding with traffic, are visible and are riding in a predictable manner just like you would drive a car (i.e. staying in your lane, not weaving or making sudden movements) it’s rare to get hit. If a street is too narrow for bicycles I would take a detour unless you feel comfortable “taking a lane.” I don’t know about other jurisdictions, but in New York it is legal for a bike to ride in the middle of the lane like a car would if it is unsafe for the car and bike to be next to each other.
T-Cups is now serving time on a (bicycle) chain gang for riding on the sidewalk in his community of Muncie, Indiana.
File a police report and they’ll get his insurance information. You should have gotten that at the scene, frankly. But if you didn’t, you need to put this through his insurance. It’s possible to remain licensed while blind in one eye (my boss lost one and he still drives to work just fine). But if this guy racks up a certain number of accidents, his insurance company will notify the DMV and they’ll take away his license.
Unless what you were doing was illegal in that jurisdiction, in which case your claim may not be compensable. But you’re not the best person to decide that… a lawyer or claim adjuster is.
When I was a little kid, Elymer the Safety Elephant visited our school each year to remind us that if we were riding our bicycle on the sidewalk (well, we didn’t have a sidewalk, but one of the streets had a path beside it, so we figured that would do), we should stop, dismount, look both ways, and if there were no cars or trucks, then walk our bicycle across the road.
Cups, if you intend to continue your wanton life of vehicular crime as a scoff(by)law, you should listen to Elymer the Safety Elephant.
Yeh, that’s the ticket, hire a lawyer at a few hundred bucks per hour to make a claim for a frame and wheel despite knowing that liability will be shared if the case is won at all.
Riding bikes on the sidewalk is illegal here in Montreal, and rightfully so. As a pedestrian, I am so tired of being hit by cyclists on the sidewalks (yes, people do it anyway, even though it’s illegal.)