In Los Angeles, it is legal to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk. However, it is illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk in many places, such as parts of Los Angeles county outside of L.A. Bicycle laws vary by individual community, so it’s important to know the riding laws in your city before setting out on the roads.
For example, West Hollywood has bike lanes in the streets, so therefore riding on sidewalks is not permitted. Sidewalk bike riding is allowed in Burbank, Glendora, Pasadena, La Mirada, Pomona, San Dimas, and Redondo Beach. In business districts in Beverly Hills and Glendale, doing so is forbidden.
Considerations When Riding on the Sidewalk
Aside from local laws, there are various things to consider when cycling on the sidewalk. Bicycle safety is always the top priority, so wear your helmet! Where the law allows it, sidewalk riding should be conducted with serious regard for:
- Pedestrian Safety: At times when you feel like riding on the sidewalk is safer than the street, think about the people walking on the same paths. You may want ride slower, or walk your bike, so pedestrians aren’t afraid someone will hit them from behind.
- Cars: You may think less about cars when on the sidewalk, but you’ll still encounter them at crosswalks and driveways. That’s where you’re at risk of motorists who don’t see you. It’s therefore important to remain vigilant at all times.
- The Department of Transportation: Listen to your local DOT regarding encouragement to ride slow, watch for cars, and yield to pedestrians. Sharing the sidewalks is a necessity where bike riding is permitted on them.
Where there are bike lanes, you can avoid interacting with pedestrians. Some of these are protected with barriers that separate bicycles from vehicular traffic, improving your safety. Even painted bike lanes reduce the number of sidewalk bicyclists. Local authorities have likely selected that location because bicycles have interfered with pedestrian traffic in the past, and people have voiced concerns about sidewalks safety.
Are bike lanes always the answer? On streets where there is limited room, they can reduce the number of parking spaces and room for traffic. Therefore, not everyone is an advocate.
Where sidewalk bicycle riding is legal or seems to be the only option, you must consider your own personal safety. Ride on the sidewalk with consideration for people who share it on foot. The most important rules to consider include not moving too fast for comfort and avoiding collisions with pedestrians, who may be weary of bicyclists in the first place.
Seek Legal Help If Injured in a Sidewalk Bicycle Accident
If, for some reason, you’ve been injured by a bicyclist or were hurt while riding on the sidewalk or in the street, contact our Los Angeles personal injury attorney at 888-952-2952 today. The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani can recover compensation for medical and hospital bills, prescription medication expenses, lost wages, property damage, and emotional trauma.