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Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Port Townsend, WA

    Riding on the Sidewalk

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    So I am curious if anyone lives or has lived anywhere that the recommended bike route is to use the sidewalk?! After just learning how to ride in traffic, it seems that there is a whole new set of rules for biking in Fairbanks, Alaska. There are signs everywhere that say for the bikes to use the sidewalk. This seems really dangerous to me. I thought about just riding on the road anyway, but I'm not sure it is legal and also I am sure Fairbanksan drivers are not used to seeing bikers on the road and this could create a whole new set of problems. In any case if I do have to use the sidewalk I am wondering if anyone knows of a manual for this sort of riding or possibly could get some advice from someone who lives in a place where this is normal. I'm not sure how to properly merge from a side street without a sidewalk onto a street with one. Do I stop and walk my bike across the crosswalk?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I did a little snooping. Maybe it's about the snow piled up on the side of the road after the snow plow comes through? Makes narrow lanes for the cars? I got this idea from here:


    Despite Alaska's northern climate, non-motorized
    transportation such as bicycling and walking can be a
    viable transportation choice. For example, a small group
    of bicyclists in Fairbanks do not allow sub-zero
    temperatures to deter them. But deep snow berms at the
    edge of the road, where they normally would ride,
    frustrate not only these hardy cyclists but pedestrians as
    eh, it's a stretch....but maybe not, if you read further down.

    According to many winter cyclists, a key
    limiting factor to greater winter bicycle use is not
    necessarily low temperatures or high snowfall, but road
    maintenance practices in which snow plowed from roadways
    is left on shoulders blocking the areas normally used by
    cyclists. Cyclists are then forced into narrowed traffic
    lanes shared by motor vehicles. The problem for cyclists
    is compounded when separated trails and paths are not
    cleared of snow - forcing them to use the roads. In many
    municipalities trails are left unplowed to save on
    maintenance costs and to allow for use by cross-country
    skiers or by ATVs and snowmachines. Another factor is the
    blind spots created by berms of snow, which render the
    bicyclist invisible to cars crossing a trail or entering
    the roadway.
    Maybe Fairbanks plows their sidewalks, too?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Middle Earth
    Its illegal in Australia and I believe also here - unless you are riding with a child...

    Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
    "I will try again tomorrow".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    In Seattle, there are plenty of sidewalks where people don't ever walk (industrial areas) some of these are better than the roads.

    Also, sometimes to be safe you have to take the sidewalk for a block or two.
    if you're sensible, it can be pretty safe.
    don't go much faster than pedestrians
    follow pedestrian traffic rules when crossing at a crosswalk
    ring your bell or inform people as you come up behind them
    be aware that if you're on the sidewalk, cars CAN NOT see you, so be prepared to stop at every single street and driveway intersection.
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    We aren't permitted to ride on the sidewalks here in MN, but we do have a lot of bike paths that run next to the road, and often cyclists will turn off the bike path into the road at an intersection to go a direction the path does not go and vice versa. Generally when they do this they behave like really careful cars, only turning on the appropriate light, and waiting until the road is completely clear before turning. They generally don't walk across at the lights, but we have a huge bike culture here so drivers are used to seeing bikes. I'd recommend being extra careful until you've felt out the situation there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    I WISH they'd let us ride the sidewalks here in oakland! People here already have no idea how to drive, it's actually worse then in L.A., if you can imagine that.

    At least in L.A. people know what they are doing is wrong, and they're just being jerks about it. In Oakland people just plain have no idea how to drive. Half of them literally don't look both ways before driving across intersections... I see it happen all the time! I watch them not look constantly, so I always stop at intersections stop sign or not because I have to assume that they are not looking both ways like half the people out here... it's retarded! It's like they DON'T KNOW to look both ways, l'm not kidding! There must be something in the pesticides they spray over the city...

    anyways my daily commute is pretty hazardous. Cars are zipping past me constantly, and I can feel the breeze off of every one of 'em. Quite a few have missed me by barely an inch (sometimes less). People here see bikes all the time (pretty big bicycling community) but they absolutely refuse to share the road.

    The city actually ended up changing an entire car lane into a bike lane near my house because cars wouldn't move over when you were in the skinny bike lane.

    And don't even get me started on the bus drivers, they HATE bikes and will do anything they can to push you off the road and out of the way. They don't care if they hit you. You gotta move outta their way fast or it's over.

    And of course, the sidewalks are completely empty along this same route, and quadruple wide as well. Would I be safer on the sidewalk here? ummm... YEA.

    But of course the cops are more then trigger happy with bicycling tickets, riding on the sidewalk being number 1 on their top 10 list.

    I think you're lucky! Trade ya...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Metro-West, MA

    Sidewalks in Alaska

    Wave hi to Sarah for me

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Interior Alaska
    Replying 4 years later: Bikes are expected to ride on the right hand side of traffic. But only if there is a 6 foot "fog line". In places of low traffic, cyclists are to take the lane. There are only a few designated traffic routes where the sidewalk is equal or greater than 6 feet and designated as a multi-use path. Bikes, pedestrians, non-motorized vehicles in the summer and skiers, bikes, pedestrians and some motorized vehicles such as four wheelers and snowmachines (mobiles) are allowed Oct1-April1.
    commuter: a Giant Sedona '97
    road: Giant OCR c3 '08 | 105/Ultegra
    lusting a Sweet Pea A-line for when DH sweeps me out to sea

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Sidewalk riding laws define the rights and duties of a bicyclist when riding on a sidewalk. Whether a bicycle can be legally ridden on a sidewalk highlights the complicated and hybrid nature of the bicycle under current traffic laws in most states. A bicycle is at once a vehicle, given all the rights and duties of a vehicle; its own entity, subject to specifically tailored alternative rules; and in some cases treated as a pedestrian, with all accompanying rights and duties. In some instances, laws related to sidewalk riding can also highlight a division between adult and child bicycling.

    When states do not explicitly allow bicycles to be ridden on sidewalks, court interpretations of statutes may still allow bicycles to be ridden on sidewalks. In most, if not all, states, either statutes or court decisions say that whatever laws govern bicycle behavior on sidewalks will also apply to crosswalks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Traffic laws for bicycles in California are uniform, meaning they are the same in every city, with the exception of bike registration requirements and sidewalk cycling restrictions. This means that individual cities can decide whether or not biking on the sidewalk is allowed, in which parts of the city, and for whom. So, how does a bicyclist know what law applies to them in the city that they are traveling through at any given moment? In many cases it is not possible to know, so the best thing to do to ensure that you are riding legally is just avoid biking on the sidewalk altogether, and remain in the street instead.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015

    My way

    I use great caution when I drive on the sidewalk and not willing to risk some vehicle will hit me!!

    And I only drive on a path that is designated for that purpose! Other wise you may get a fine...
    Last edited by gaylechesshum; 05-10-2015 at 11:37 AM.



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