In recent years, there has sparked a heated discussion about whether recreational bicyclists should ride on the sidewalks or on the road alongside vehicles. Next, let’s view these points together.cyclists brake the law
Views about recreational bicyclists should not ride on the sidewalks
Biking on the sidewalk has a few major problems.
1.Sidewalks are not continuous. That is to say, each time bicyclists get off the sidewalk (intersection, construction, clogged with pedestrians, newspapers boxes), they are hard to see the pedestrians. Drivers are not that well trained to look for people crossing the street when making a turn - bikes move at odd speeds as well, so you are very likely to be hit by a driver making a turn.
2.There are many objects on the sidewalk. By riding on the sidewalk, even if there are no pedestrians, the danger is much greater for you because you are out of the flow of traffic, less visible and less predictable. The most common cause of bicycle-vehicle collisions is in crossing and turning situations at intersections, and if you're on the sidewalk then every crossing (driveways, lot entrances, etc.) becomes an intersection. Drivers are not accustomed to accounting for traffic on side paths moving faster than walking speed. Even if you're "careful" the risks are far greater.Two opposite views whether recreational bicyclists ride on the sidewalks or not
3.Sidewalks are not designed for bicycles. And it is too narrow to accommodate bikes and pedestrians both. What’s worse, even running on a sidewalk can be very dangerous, let alone riding a bike. Bicycles are vehicles and belong on the road with other vehicles or in designated bicycle paths, never on the sidewalk which is meant for pedestrians only. Many inexperienced cyclists believe that sidewalk riding is safe because you are out of the flow of traffic, but that is far from true - it is in fact far more dangerous for yourself and for the pedestrians around you.
4.Most drivers aren't paying attention to the sidewalk. There are many things like the objects I mentioned above that obstruct a motorist’s view of the sidewalk. Therefore, the motorists may not notice you are making a turn when he or she makes a turn at the same time. So you may be in danger.
Views about recreational bicyclists should ride on the sidewalks
Safety comes over road rules. If you are a kid, sidewalk riding is ok in that we don’t expect them to have the ability to ride safely on the roads. The cyclists without the proper lighting to use at night should use sidewalks for their own safety, because they won't be able to see potholes and obstructions in the dark.Two opposite views whether recreational bicyclists ride on the sidewalks or not
Many drivers are idiots that turn left without checking in the mirror. And some drivers are callous idiots and will cut in front of the bicyclists. In rush hour when cars are static, people or other riders will cross the street without checking left for the bicycles, which push the riders into the sidewalks. Most of the above will get angry if you politely point out they put you in danger.
The reason given for why bicyclists shouldn't ride on the sidewalk is a collision with a pedestrian. But someone doesn’t agree. Because they think both people are likely to survive.
They believe the result of a collision with a car or truck and a bike is much worse. They say it is hard for a driver to see a bicycle even though conditions are good and it is a tragedy to see bicycles and cars coexist in the same road.
In conclusion, it depends on the conditions of both the road and the sidewalk. More cars on the road are not necessarily more dangerous. Heavy traffic that slows the flow of cars down is much safer for cyclists. But if you are a slow rider, who ride less than 8 mph or twice walking speed or riding with children, use sidewalks. Watch for driveways, since cars expect people to move 5 mph or less on the sidewalks or don't expect people at all. Also, sidewalks are for slow traffic, and it's legal in many cities to ride bikes on them, especially if they don't have designated bike lanes. And you need to examine a few similar things when considering riding on the sidewalk: Is there debris or other hazards on the road? Is there a designated bike lane or shoulder? How congested is the sidewalk? What are your local laws? What kind of rider are you?
Are you safer from getting hit by a car by being on the sidewalk; sure, but if you are that worried about getting hit, you might want to get some bike handling skills training or just not cycle. You don't want to hit pedestrians at high speeds any more than you want to be hit, so adjust your speed and your location with wisdom based on your circumstances.