gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Cyclists on sidewalks in the news

September 10, 2013 @ 16:40 By: gordon Category: Cycling, In the news

IMG00050-20110902-1206.jpgI see that the issue of cyclists riding on sidewalks has been in the news lately. This is something that I have blogged about in the past  and I still encounter on a regular basis on my walk to and from work — my 6-minute walk to and from work. In the span of the couple of hundred metres along Holland Avenue that I walk, I often see cyclists riding on the sidewalks when they could easily be on the road. Holland Avenue was recently repaved so they can’t use the excuse of the curb lane being full of potholes. Personally, if I encounter a cyclist riding their bike on the sidewalk, I feel no obligation to move aside so that they can pass. If that upsets them, then tough.

If you’re a cyclist who is not confident enough to ride on the road where you belong then you need to re-evaluate whether you should be cycling at all. If, upon reflection, you decide that you should be cycling, then you need to either a) find a different route that avoids the streets that scare you, or b) recognize that as a cyclist you have a right to be on the road (following the rules, of course) and that most drivers really aren’t out to get you.

Either way, you need to stop cycling on the sidewalks. Now.

And, for the record, I am a cyclist and I do not ride on sidewalks.

2 Responses to “Cyclists on sidewalks in the news”

  1. Evolving Squid says:

    Cyclists do not belong on the road. “Rights” be damned.

    Cyclists on the road was a great idea in the idyllic 1930’s when there were hardly any cars, or cyclists for that matter. Ottawa’s roads are not designed to handle the weight of car traffic, let alone cyclists on top of that. This is one case where the law is most certainly an ass.

    They belong on the sidewalk and need to be held accountable if they hurt anyone, just like cars belong on the road and get held accountable if they hurt anyone.

    Pedestrians, on the other hand, have to wake up, listen up, and get their damn headphones out or turn the volume down so they can hear what is around them so they can walk safely, irrespective of whether or not there are cyclists.

    Until there are bike lanes everywhere, sidewalks are the superior choice. The ramifications of a cyclist hitting a pedestrian are way, way less than a car hitting a cyclist.

    But I’m willing to come part way… limit cyclists on the sidewalk to 15 km/h, but put a minimum road speed of 30 km/h. So if you’re ambling along on a bike, you use the sidewalk. If you’re keeping up with ambient traffic, use the road. If you’re somewhere in between, you speed up or slow down.

  2. Evolving Squid says:

    … and licence bikes, and put the fees toward building bike lanes.

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