Riding a Bike
I've recently entered into a conversation with Mr. Carmichael about bike lanes, sidewalks and roads and where bikes should be. In it, I defended the idea that bikes should be allowed to ride on the sidewalk, but things were confused because of Twitter's 140 character limit. I came across sounding like I completely disapproved of bike lanes, which I don't.
- I believe bike lanes are the best solution, and should be implemented wherever feasible.
- I think most places it isn't feasible.
- On arterial roads (for instance, Edinburgh here in Guelph) cyclists should probably not be on the road.
- On non-major streets, with low traffic, cyclists should definitely be on the street.
My reasoning is simple:
- If a cyclist and a car get in an accident, there will be a dead or severely injured cyclist.
- If a cyclist and a pedestrian get in an accident, most of the time there will be bruising, with no major injuries.
I don't propose that these things are mandated. I do propose that cyclists and pedestrians both would have to look out for and respect each other on the sidewalks.
Anecdotally, I feel pretty strongly about not having cyclists on busy roads because I've seen a few cyclists hit by cars (one of which had debilitating head trauma) which are terrible. I've seen a few accidents where cars swerved to avoid cyclists, which can also cause fairly significant injuries. I've seen a few accidents where a cyclist ran into a pedestrain; they apologized and then continued on their way. Like I said, this is all anecdotal; lots of other people have had different experiences.
Edit: A good point was brought up by James in the comments - cyclists do need to recognize that pedestrians have the right of way in any situation.