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.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sidewalk biking debate continues

Local Reps. "Doug McKillip, D-Athens, and Ed Lindsey, R-Atlanta, introduced House Bill 965 this week, [which] would give local governments the option of allowing bicycles on sidewalks," reports today's Banner-Herald.

I stated my opinion publicly, but I'll reiterate it by re-posting a comment from the ABH website:
Sidewalks might be ok for kids and folks wishing to putter, but there is no way a sidewalk is safe for even for the speeds a newbie on a road bike can make. Most road bike groups are going to average 14-18 mph, maybe a bit slower on hills, but that is pretty close. Elite groups will be faster, and some riders will be slower. While bikes may delay you a few seconds on your journey, it is safer for pedestrians, pets, and the bikers themselves, to have them on the road at those speeds than on a narrow unregulated sidewalk.

By definition, bikes are "traffic" and have the same rights to the road as slow drivers, garbage trucks, busses, postmen, etc., and any other vehicle that might slow you down. Share the road works when everyone is respectful and considerate.
While I agree with the above 100%, I recognize my opinion is informed by my experiences on Prince, Milledge, and Lumpkin. Any thoughts from other commuting corridors? I'd like to hear both cyclists' and pedestrians' perspectives.

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1 comment:

ha1ku said...

Bicycling adults should stay on the road. As recently as Saturday I had been hassled by motorists yelling at me to get off the road. This mentality must stop.