LADOT Bike Blog is back for more “Biking for Newbies”. Again, if there’s anything you guys would like us to cover with this feature in throughout Bike to Work Week, just let us know in comments and we’ll try to tack it on.
Speaking of Bike to Work Week, make sure you check out all the cool things that are happening. You can check out Metro’s website, look at what we’ve provided for you, or get a recap on Monday’s event.
Anyhow, more “Biking for Newbies!”
Can I ride on the sidewalk?
Most cities make sidewalk riding illegal, but LA is an exception. The LA Municipal Code only prohibits sidewalk riding when it is done with “with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property“. This is admittedly vague, but it essentially means: ride at a walking pace and be mindful when navigating around pedestrians or businesses whose doors open directly onto the sidewalk. If you want to know about sidewalk riding rules in the rest of LA County, look no farther.
A lot of new bicyclists tend to ride on the sidewalk because they think it’s safer than riding in the roadway; It can certainly seem that way when watching the cars zoom by on a thoroughfare like Wilshire Blvd. or Washington Blvd. What sidewalk riders often don’t realize, however, is that cars are looking for cyclists on the road and not on the sidewalk. Riding your bike on the sidewalk puts you in danger of collisions with cars turning corners, coming in and out of parking lots, driveways, and alleyways. It also creates a high risk of collision with pedestrians. We recommend all cyclists stay on the roads. It is the safest place to be as a bicyclist, even though it may not seem that way at times.
Do I need a license to ride my bike?
Nope. Uh-uh. Nyet. Nein. The old ordinance requiring a bicycle license was repealed on June 2nd, 2009. It didn’t serve much of a purpose and was almost never enforced. Even though a license isn’t required, it’s a good idea to carry some form of ID and emergency contact information with you every time you go out on your bike.
More “Biking for Newbies” soon!