When riding down the street the other day, we noticed some adult cyclist that had chosen to ride their bikes on the sidewalk rather than in the street. Now, it is true that there is no law against riding on the sidewalks in the City of Fort Worth. However, as adult cyclist, we choose not to for some of the following reasons:
- Drivers are not looking for fast moving objects on the sidewalks, so when you come to a cross street there is a good chance you’ll get hit by a turning car.
- You are forced to (and should) go extremely slow. Besides dealing with turning cars and pedestrians, you are riding on surfaces that are not maintained for traffic and you will often have other obstacles to deal with.
- Many times there is limited visibility when riding on the sidewalk.
- Statistically, bicycle crashes with injury are almost twice as likely on the sidewalk.
- Pedestrians get annoyed at cyclist on the sidewalk, and riding on the sidewalk can be much more stressful than riding safely in the street.
- Texas state laws states that “a bicycle is a vehicle and any person operating a bicycle has the rights and duties applicable to a driver operating a vehicle.” In other words, bicyclist belong in the road.
We do agree with the League of American Bicyclist when they say that “there may be some appropriate times to ride on a sidewalk or crosswalk, such as when crossing an unsafe high speed roadway or when the skill or ability level of the rider is not suited for the adjacent roadway, as can be the case with children.” At the same time, we choose to ride in the street.