Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A new record? 84 posts on sidewalk bikes on the CH Yahoo group

Woo! We did it! Or something. The Columbia Heights Yahoo Group conversation about bicycling on the sidewalk expanded to getting doored (when a bicyclist runs into an open car door, often when the driver doesn't look and opens it), transportation infrastructure, and more. It's a whopping 80+ posts, and I'm not sure what we learned, other than bikes cause strong opinions.

One thing I was wondering though -- right now it's legal to bike on the sidewalk outside downtown -- what if they expanded that to congested areas, like around DCUSA, Adams Morgan, and so on. Might be a good solution. Otherwise there's only giving people nasty looks or having cops ticket people, but it's legal, so...


  1. As usual, I see William Jordan in there, fanning the flames, casting blame, demanding sweeping social changes, and blabbering ad nauseum in general.

  2. I think any place there's a dedicated bike lane on the street it should be illegal to ride bikes on the sidewalk. Otherwise, it should be legal, but bikers shouldn't be allowed to go faster than the speed of the pedestrians, and that pedestrians have the right of way.

  3. The good solution would be more and better bike infrastructure everywhere, so people have better places to bike than on the sidewalk. People still bike on the sidewalk downtown even though it's illegal - they do it on those streets where it's really awful to bike in the road.

    If you put the proper infrastructure in place, people will choose to use it in congested areas because biking on the sidewalk is inconvenient.

  4. Now post something about DC scooter laws, which are silly, unenforced, problematically inconsistent with MD and VA laws, and tend to cause strong reactions when they come up in conversation.

  5. A lot of the people riding bikes on the sidewalk in Columbia Heights are recent immigrants who, for a variety of reasons, might not feel comfortable riding in the street. I'm not sure why that is, but it's worth keeping in mind if a sidewalk cycling ban is instituted. While in general I support banning bikes from sidewalks, it's also important to make sure bike lanes exist and that drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are educated about safety and rules of the road.


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