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Old 07-01-2009, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,763 posts, read 18,194,135 times
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Quote:
I don't understand why more people don't use their bicycles on sidewalks more in Austin.
I think that it is illegal to ride a bike on any sidewalk, but not sure. You are right, however, in that it is generally safer in some areas and usually ignored when done courteously (i.e. there is no pedestrian traffic and you don't fly down the sidewalk).
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:33 PM
 
1,895 posts, read 3,752,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
I think that it is illegal to ride a bike on any sidewalk, but not sure. You are right, however, in that it is generally safer in some areas and usually ignored when done courteously (i.e. there is no pedestrian traffic and you don't fly down the sidewalk).
riding on the sidewalk is actually more dangerous. Cars tend to not stop at the limit line for at the street line. Watch an intersection or driveway and you'll see what I mean. I had a friend in middle school that was struct and killed riding a skateboard on a sidewalk by a car that hit him on the sidewalk from a driveway. The driver now has to live with himself that he killed a 14 year old.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,763 posts, read 18,194,135 times
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Quote:
Cars tend to not stop at the limit line for at the street line.
Good point. I was thinking of streets like David Ln, which has no driveways or other access other than the street intersections. I didn't think about 'normal' a access streets.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
2,672 posts, read 2,995,993 times
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Sidewalks are far from ideal. They have signs, telephone poles, bus stops and other obstructions, plus tree roots make for other damage. Cyclists are however allowed on sidewalks anywhere outside the CBD.
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,537 posts, read 21,209,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
Sidewalks are far from ideal. They have signs, telephone poles, bus stops and other obstructions, plus tree roots make for other damage. Cyclists are however allowed on sidewalks anywhere outside the CBD.
Right, but they also don't have 7.000 pound automobiles moving at 40 MPH either. Sidewalks may not be ideal, but they are far safer then streets and I never found them that hard to navigate. In fact all the zigging and zagging was kinda fun. I consider them far more ideal then mixing it up in traffic with huge mechanical machines that can squash me like a bug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
I think that it is illegal to ride a bike on any sidewalk, but not sure. You are right, however, in that it is generally safer in some areas and usually ignored when done courteously (i.e. there is no pedestrian traffic and you don't fly down the sidewalk).
It was probably 10 years or so ago that the Director of the Dept. of Transportation, told me that it is perfectly legal to ride a bicyle on any sidewalk in Austin except for in the CBD.

Looking at this State transportation code, it applies only to bicycles while riding in the street or a designated bike lane. TRANSPORTATION CODEÂ*Â* CHAPTER 551. OPERATION OF BICYCLES, MOPEDS, AND PLAY VEHICLES

In the City ordinance Austin, TX Online Resources

The limitations on where a bicycle may ride on the sidewalk are even more limited then I thought:

Quote:
§ 12-2-13 USE OF SIDEWALKS RESTRICTED.

(A) Except as provided in Subsection (B), a person may ride a bicycle on a sidewalk.

(B) A person may not ride a bicycle on a sidewalk on the following streets:

(1) 100 to 1100 blocks of Congress Avenue;

(2) 1900 to 2500 blocks of Guadalupe Street;

(3) 100 to 1100 blocks of Brazos Street;

(4) 200 to 1100 blocks of Colorado Street;

(5) from the 200 block of Second Street (West) to the 300 block of Second Street (East);

(6) from the 900 block of Fifth Street (West) to the 800 block of Fifth Street (East);

(7) from the 700 block of Sixth Street (East) to the 1000 block of Sixth Street (West);

(8) from the 100 block of Eighth Street (West) to the 200 block of Eighth Street (East);

(9) from the 100 block of Ninth Street (West) to the 200 block of Ninth Street (East);

(10) from the 200 block of 11th Street (West) to the 200 block of 11th Street (East); and

(11) from the 200 block of 15th Street (West) to the 200 block of 15th Street (East).

Last edited by CptnRn; 07-01-2009 at 05:19 PM..
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:07 PM
 
1,895 posts, read 3,752,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptnRn View Post
Right, but they also don't have 7.000 pound automobiles moving at 40 MPH either. Sidewalks may not be ideal, but they are far safer then streets and I never found them that hard to navigate. I consider them far more ideal then mixing it up in traffic with huge mechanical machines that can squash me like a bug.

you are placing yourself in more danger by being on the sidewalk from being hit by cross traffic. The Austin Cycling Association sponsors a great class that would benefit anyone riding in the urban area as to what to look for. Sidewalks are specifically covered and are dangerous per the reasons I stated earlier.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,537 posts, read 21,209,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodinvilleguy View Post
you are placing yourself in more danger by being on the sidewalk from being hit by cross traffic. The Austin Cycling Association sponsors a great class that would benefit anyone riding in the urban area as to what to look for. Sidewalks are specifically covered and are dangerous per the reasons I stated earlier.
<<you are placing yourself in more danger by being on the sidewalk from being hit by cross traffic.>>

Sorry, I don't see it, you have the same hazard everytime you cross an intersection, you should never assume you are safe crossing any intersection, always show down and check and never assume you have the right of way.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:11 PM
 
1,895 posts, read 3,752,363 times
Reputation: 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by CptnRn View Post
<<you are placing yourself in more danger by being on the sidewalk from being hit by cross traffic.>>

Sorry, I don't see it, you have the same hazard everytime you cross an intersection, you should never assume you are safe crossing any intersection, always show down and check and never assume you have the right of way.
Next time you are at an intersection, watch where the car stops. They will stop at the corner because they are looking for cars not pedestrians or bikes.

I'd be happy to take you out on a ride sometime so you get the perspective.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,537 posts, read 21,209,772 times
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Thanks, but I already have years of riding experience. My safety is primarily in my hands, so I don't count on them seeing me and I ride accordingly. Same as a pedestrian, you don't step out in front of someone unless you are absolutely certain they see you.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
6,876 posts, read 10,868,888 times
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I always thought it was common knowledge that riding on the sidewalk was more dangerous than riding in the street... ? At least, that was what I was always told. Cars aren't expecting you crossing driveways, business entrances/exits, etc. And how many people stop to check for moving vehicles 8 feet from the end of their driveway? Cause that is about where the sidewalk is...

It's similar to how many of those cyclists died on 360: It doesn't happen at intersections, but at the road access/exit points. Some studies say it you are up to twice as likely to get into an accident riding on the sidewalk:

Bicycle Safety: How to Not Get Hit by Cars

Certainly you are many,many times more likely to get into a pedestrian-cyclist accident on a sidewalk. Auto-cyclist accidents, maybe twice as likely? It's difficult to say. Sidewalk riding is probably OK for the kids in a quiet, low-traffic neighborhood street.. but elsewhere, you may be putting yourself at greater risk than you realize.
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