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WeHo to Allow Bicycle Riding on Sidewalks

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Photo by HBuzacott via Flickr

Taking a note from a Los Angeles bicycle law, the city of West Hollywood has made the first steps to allow bicycles to legally ride on sidewalks, reports WeHo News. Currently, West Hollywood's law is consistent with LA County law stating that “a person shall not operate any bicycle… on any sidewalk or parkway except at a permanent or temporary driveway or at specific locations thereon where the commissioner finds that such locations are suitable for and has placed appropriate signs or markings, permitting such…riding.”

In Los Angeles, municipal code states that bicycles may ride on sidewalks as long as riders do not have a "willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property." The only sidewalk in the city where it is illegal to ride is on Ocean Front Walk in Venice.

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Back in West Hollywood, the issue came to City Council last year when complaints from the community came in regarding worries of cyclists hurting pedestrians, something that has been lightly enforced by Sheriff's Deputies and unreported when incidents do occur. But at a hearing, a slew of bicyclists, including Sheriff's bike patrol officers, warned that road cycling has been dangerous for them.

West Hollywood will be working more on its policy as Sheriff's maybe reinvigorate educational programs to drivers. Of course, many cyclists agree that the use of sharrows and other educational signage and campaigns about "sharing the road" is probably the best tool. Some believe sidewalk riding and bike lanes teach drivers that bicycles do not belong on the road, which goes against the California Vehicle Code that states "bicyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of vehicle drivers."