News, updates, commentary and more from BikeAthens. BikeAthens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Athens, GA. BikeAthens promotes transportation and land-use policies that improve alternative modes of transportation, including pedestrian, cycling, and public transit options. The mission of our organization is to make alternative transportation a practical, convenient, and safe option for all citizens of Athens-Clarke County.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No more sidewalk riding

The ACC commission voted unanimously Tuesday to ban people over the age of 12 from riding bicycles on sidewalks, bringing Athens-Clarke County into compliance with state law.

I applaud this vote. While it may seem safer to ride on the sidewalk, it's more dangerous than riding on the street. For adults, street cycling is a better idea for a number of reasons:

1) Drivers are not expecting bicycles on the sidewalk when they enter and leave driveways. Every curb cut, side street, and entry/exit drive is an opportunity for a quick-moving cyclist to be cut off or hit by an unwary motorist. Biking on the street ensures that cars see you and know what to expect from you, provided you wear visible clothing and ride safely & predictably!

2) Sidewalks are for pedestrians. Sharing sidewalk space is fine on a wide paved surface like the Greenway, but, on typical sidewalks, sharing the space with pedestrians increases the likelihood of a collision.

3) Bicycles are vehicles. Under state law and common sense, bicycles are vehicles. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilites as motorists and should take full advantage of public infrastructure.

Stay warm & ride safely!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is fine, but the only people I see riding bikes on sidewalks appear to be homeless and/or destitute. Are they going to be notified of this, are they likely to comply, and do we really need to be picking on them over this?