Bike Tips: Riding on Sidewalks
(upbeat music playing)
Riding on the sidewalk can seem like a good option, especially on busier roads.
But the fact is that a lot of crashes happen when the bicyclist is using a sidewalk.
When motorists are turning or pulling out of a driveway, they are not looking for people
on the sidewalk. They are looking for a gap in traffic and
simply will not see you. Especially if you are coming from the wrong direction.
Plus, it’s easy to misjudge the speed of someone on a bike compared to a pedestrian.
When you are riding on a sidewalk, you also have to deal with pedestrians, all kinds of
street furniture, signs, newspaper boxes and the like.
These are hazards that can make you invisible to drivers.
Having said that, there may be times when we ride on the sidewalk.
Sometimes crossing a busy road twice in a couple blocks doesn’t make sense.
Or maybe there’s a long stretch of wide sidewalk without any driveways or crossings
on a fast busy roadway that feels more comfortable. In those situations you should remember that
a sidewalk is designed for walking speed. So moderate your speed, watch for pedestrians,
yield to them at all times, and take extra care at every driveway or intersection.
Assume that drivers aren’t looking for you and haven’t seen you.
The League of American Bicyclists, creating better bike education for everyone.