Please don’t ride your bike on the sidewalk
No person over 11 years old shall operate a bicycle on any sidewalk in Louisville Metro, and nobody of any age shall ride on the sidewalk downtown.
(Does not apply to LMPD, EMS, Louisville Fire, etc)
I see people riding on the sidewalk every day. Somtimes I see more people riding on the sidewalk than I do in the street!
There’s the woman who rides down the Bardstown Rd. sidewalk toward Assumption every morning with all of her stuff in wire baskets attached to her bike.
There’s the guy with the sunglasses and hat that I see riding on the sidewalk up and down Bardstown Rd. all day.
There was the girl riding on the sidewalk after the Zombie Walk who ran into Jane.
There was the man and woman riding side-by-side down the sidewalk just past Eastern Parkway, both wearing helmets and blinking lights.
There are the countless people I see on Breckinridge and Kentucky Ave using the sidewalk instead of the dedicated bike lanes!
This is not OK.
I get that riding in the road can be scary until you get used to it. But I’d rather people took back roads instead, at least until their comfort level is up.
There are so many reasons not to do it:
It’s dangerous for you
There are so many more obstacles when you ride on the sidewalk. And cars don’t look for people/cyclists on the sidewalk when they come out of side streets.
It’s dangerous for everyone else
Think about all of the people walking that you have to avoid. There are people coming in and out of stores. There are people walking dogs with leashes stretched across the sidewalk. I’ve seen bicycle/pedestrian accidents on the sidewalk before and it’s not pretty for anyone.
It sets a bad precedent
We need to get everyone used to the idea of cyclists as equal citizens on the road. Every person riding on the sidewalk makes it harder for the rest of us. I can’t tell you how many times people in cars have yelled at me “Get on the sidewalk!”
This, in my mind, is the least important reason. I'm 100% OK with breaking the law if it makes me safer to do it (for more details, read up on the Idaho Stop laws). Sidewalk riding is a case where the law makes total sense and should be respected.
So take the plunge. Ride in the street where you belong!