Is It Illegal to Ride a Bike on The Sidewalk

Updated on June 9, 2022

As a result, on the road and in traffic, bicycles are regarded as vehicles. On the sidewalks, they’re treated as pedestrians. When riding on a sidewalk, cyclists must “give the right of way to any person” and “offer audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.” It’s a good idea to drive at a pace that’s similar to that of oncoming pedestrians.

Things You Need To Know About Cycling On The Sidewalk

1. Bicyclists feel safer, but pedestrians feel endangered

While walking around Washington, D.C., young mom Lukia Eccleston says it seems like “a car on the sidewalk.”

In order to walk on the sidewalk safely, you must keep an eye out for “them [bicyclists].”

Many people express their annoyance with bicycles on the sidewalk, according to Sarah Dale, a rider. It doesn’t stop her from using the sidewalk when traffic is too fast for her to keep up with.

It is not uncommon for people walking on the sidewalk to raise their fist at a bicyclist as he passes by, says Dale.

2. Everything is not as it seems

If the road is congested, bicycle riders may prefer to use the sidewalk. Injuries to bikers are attributed to automobiles, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.

Even if you’re walking on the sidewalk, you can’t avoid a car. It is difficult for vehicles to detect bicyclists because of the lack of sidewalks, which makes them invisible.

In 2014, 62-year-old Timothy Donelson learned this lesson the hard way while sidewalk cycling.

“My plan to cross the street from the sidewalk was interrupted by a sound. One of those cars just appeared out of nowhere and hit me as I was crossing the street “Donelson is of the opinion that this is the case. Donelson, who was hit by a car and had back injuries, was airlifted to a local hospital.

3. Protected bike lanes are proven to reduce sidewalk cycling

Protected bike lanes, as opposed to conventional ones, are built to keep bikers safe from oncoming traffic.

Parth Shah for NPR

Cities around the country have seen a huge increase in the amount of bike infrastructure.. One of the fastest-growing locations is the amount of bike lanes. The number of kilometres of bike lanes in Washington, DC has increased from three in 2001 to 78 today.

Of the 78-mile route, only six miles are strictly off-limits.

For bikers, the physical barrier of a protected bike lane is much more effective than simply painting a white line. Data from the Department of Transportation shows that protected bike lanes cut sidewalk bicyclists by 56%.

4. Bye bye parallel parking space

A mile of D.C.’s conventional bike lane costs $50,000. A mile of bike lanes will set you back $180,000.

It’s vital to keep in mind that cost isn’t the only aspect to consider.

In the words of DDOT mobility planner Jim Sebastian: “We just don’t have room to do them on every street.”

The number of parking spaces in densely populated regions is reduced by protected bike lanes. An extensive repaving of the roads is required to accommodate the protected lane.

Yet despite the District’s lack of investment, protected bike lanes are growing in popularity across the country. Since 2011, the number of bike lanes in the United States has more than doubled, according to PeopleForBikes, an advocacy group.

5. Protected bike lanes aren’t the only solution

Washington, D.C. police officers ride bicycles to and from their work. A bicycle can be ridden on city sidewalks in all save the city’s commercial centre.

By Parth Shah, AP

They believe that bike lanes should be built in a way to take into account the general structure of the road. Even while protected bike lanes have been shown to reduce sidewalk riding and enhance bicycle utilisation, they aren’t always necessary in every situation.

“A painted bike lane is fine if the cars aren’t going too fast and there are a lot of people,” he said.

Proponents of bike-friendly towns, such as Browne, advocate for a network of well-lit, traditional cycle lanes as well as bike paths.

Is it illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk?

According to the laws of each city, it’s either legal or illegal.

For those under 12 and under 26 inches in wheel diameter, it is illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in New York City.

Several states allow bicycling on the sidewalk, including Colorado, Florida, Michigan, and South Dakota.

What states prohibit riding bikes on sidewalks?

These cities do not allow bicycles on their sidewalks: Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and West Virginia.