City Panel Explores the Idea of Banning Bicycle Sidewalk Riding

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Photo by HBuzacott via Flickr

By Danielle Directo, Special to LAist

Bicyclists quickly shot down the city’s idea of possibly making it illegal to ride on sidewalks. During the Transportation Committee meeting last Wednesday, advocates said changing the vehicular code won’t ensure that all cyclists will be aware of the law. Instead, the city should develop safety education programs to inform casual or less experienced riders of the dangers posed by cycling on sidewalks.

“I would rather ride 10 mph on the sidewalks than ride 20 mph on the streets,” said one cyclist. “A piece of paint is not going to save my life when a 4,000-pound vehicle hits me,” he said.

Some recommended the city build barricaded pike paths to create a separate space for pedestrians and bicyclists and that education programs be geared at low-income Spanish speakers, many of whom are using the sidewalks to ride, said L.A. County Bicycle Coalition’s Aurisha Smolarski.

The committee will continue the discussion with the public during their meeting this Wednesday.