Sidewalk Cycling

Ambrose and I recently had a lively discussion of this issue over at his blog. I’m pretty firmly against allowing sidewalk cycling, not just for reasons of pedestrian safety, but also because I see sidewalk cycling as propagating the attitude that cyclists do not belong on the road, which in turn fuels bad behaviour towards road cyclists from motorists.

I have also been looking up a few studies on the dangers of sidewalk cycling versus road cycling, and will post my findings soon.


11 Responses to “Sidewalk Cycling”

  1. 1 Ambrose April 15, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Lively indeed, but I guess we were, for the most part, arguing past each other. Our assumptions differed greatly in the speed and range of bicycles, largely due to different assumptions of the purpose of this mode of transport. Either way I’m fine, as long as responsibility is exercised, be it bicycles on the road or on the sidewalk.

  2. 2 Ambrose April 15, 2008 at 10:43 am

    By all parties, I mean. Not just the cyclists.

  3. 4 zand3r February 3, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I find it a problem cycling on the sidewalk as pedestrians love to get in the way and refuse to move! Also sidewalks in my country are few and far between.
    There are hazards to riding on the road, but if you are careful you should be fine.

  4. 5 Krista March 31, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I think it all depends on the circumstances. If its a child then by far they should be allowed to cycle on the sidewalks. If its an adult that is not used to cycling and is easily flustered or scared by the thought of cycling on the road then I feel it to be safer to have them on a sidewalk than on a road as long as they are considerate to pedestrians. If its a cyclist that knows betters and is familiar with cycling then theres no need for them not to use the road. If its a leisure ride in a very busy car area then I see no reason to not use the side walk.

  5. 6 Bicycle Accident Solicitors February 23, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I think sidewalk cycling should be allowed. I don’t see that there is a great deal of difference between a cyclist and a pedestrian, and pedestrians don’t have to walk along side busy roads risking accidents.

    Granted, bikes can go a lot faster, but there isn’t any extra protection than a normal person walking (a helmet isn’t exactly any sort of guarantee against being flattened by a HGV), so why should they have to belong on the roads?

  6. 7 Ian Brett Cooper September 17, 2011 at 11:21 am

    The sidewalk is deceiving. It looks safe, but study after study has shown that it’s more dangerous to cycle on the sidewalk than on the road. The danger appears whenever the cyclist negotiates an intersection. Drivers simply do not look for people on the sidewalk (which is, incidentally, why walking is by far the most dangerous form of personal transportation).

    Sidewalks, bike paths and bike lanes are all death traps for cyclists, because they place the cyclist out of the motorist’s zone of awareness. As a cyclist concerned with keeping myself breathing, I avoid these places like the plague, and I advise others to do the same.

    Ride on the road – that’s what it’s there for.

  7. 8 Velostage September 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Thankfully in the UK, ‘sidewalk’ riding is banned. But it still dosn’t stop people from doing it.

  8. 9 Raelynn September 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    as a beginner cyclist in singapore, cycling on the sidewalks is extremely intimidating due to the following points

    – every few meters you encounter a bus stop. at the bus stop, there are cement pillars which protect the commuters from being hit by buses whose drivers have lost control (i hope) and there are seats and semi circle metal railings for commuters to rest on. the distance between these cement pillars and the seats is about half a meter. cycling there scared me witless because there’s the chance that someone might walk out of their seats suddenly without noticing that there is a bicycle behind them. yes, you can ring your loud brass bell, but you’ll give them a jolt and in turn they curse and swear at you. not a pleasant experience for everyone.

    – the sidewalks are actually incredibly rough and subject to potholes, or at least the ones at my estate. i wished they kept my sidewalks in the estate a simple cement than “beautifying” it with the small stone+cement layer.

    but i have to mention though, not all sidewalks have pedestrians. for example, if you cycle down yio chu kang road to jalan kayu, after peak hour on week days where the office workers get off at the bus stops to their offices, there’s hardly anyone on the sidewalks. plus cars there travel really fast. or the road that connects yio chu kang to khatib. hardly anyone on the sidewalks too.

    i believe that there are places that have sidewalks suitable for bicycles because there is very low human traffic flow, and sidewalks that are not because they have significantly higher traffic flow, especially when you get closer to the centrals (like amk hub, bishan j8, northpoint, you get my drift) at the town centers, then naturally there is higher human traffic flow on the sidewalks, then a bicycle shouldnt be there. there shouldnt be a strict law that says that bikes must be off the sidewalks.

  9. 10 thezenminimalistcyclistlifestyle September 5, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Cant agree with you more. Anyway you look at it, riding on the sidewalk is terrible!

  1. 1 Risks of Sidewalk versus Road Bicycling « One Less Car Trackback on June 11, 2008 at 12:20 pm

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