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Is it legal to ride your bicycle once the street is busy?

15 Aug 17
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I understand bicycles are considered vehicles and need to comply with the rules of the road. We had been walking amongst countless others on a Front Street after the baseball game. An older guy riding a bicycle with his dog running on a leash rang his bicycle bell to force his way through the traffic. I commented that it was illegal for him to be riding on the sidewalk, as he passed. He responded that there was no bike lane on Front St. — like that justified his being on the sidewalk. Was he right? — Tricia, Toronto

You can not ride your bicycle on Toronto sidewalks if you are over 14.

“In Toronto, kids riding bikes with a bicycle tire beneath 61 centimetres (24 inches) can ride on the sidewalk, but elderly cyclists could be ticketed for doing this,” said Daniela Patino, spokesperson for , a cycling advocacy group. “When a cyclist feels that the street may be dangerous or harmful, we recommend they dismount from their bike and walk it to the sidewalk.”

The Is not in Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA), but cities, such as Toronto, have included it in local bylaws. In Toronto, the fine for riding on a sidewalk if older than 14 is $60. And when their bicycles walk on the sidewalk Patino said. “We invite cyclists who walk their bicycles to allow pedestrians proceed first, particularly when it’s busy.”

Why allow cycling? Safety. “The intent of the bylaw is to allow young children to cycle on the sidewalk while they learn to ride,” the town states on its site.

But that does not mean children have free rein on anything else — or sidewalks when they are on bicycles. 950-300 says you can not “run a bicycle, skateboard, in-line skates or roller-skates, coaster, scooter, toy car, toboggan, sleigh, or any similar device on a sidewalk recklessly or negligently or in a rate or in a way dangerous to the general public.” It is a fine.

And, the HTA does prohibit riding if you walk and do not get off your bike, it is an fine.

The rules vary by state and city. , riding on the sidewalk is prohibited by law. In B.C., the Also allows municipalities although bans it. Some, because of this, , prohibit others along with it, such as Maple Ridge, let it.

“When the principles change, it makes it difficult to know what to do,” said Richard Campbell, executive director of the (BCCC). “And quite frankly, there are instances where expecting people with little kids to cycle on a street with active traffic is simply not realistic — so the legislation will need to be settled{}”

Sidewalks safer?

Some cyclists know it is illegal to be on the sidewalk but they decide it is cycling blogger Tom Babin, the choice in May. “I did it riding in the winter,” Babin said. “I am facing a busy street that has not been plowed and right with me is an entirely empty sidewalk that’s well cleared, which one am I going to pick for my own safety?”

The Patino of cycle Toronto said a obstacle protects a solution bike lanes — lanes. “So far this season, we have had 32 deaths,” Patino said. “We do not have a city-wide minimal grid of bicycle lanes and this is putting people’s lives in danger.”

Including a pilot project on Bloor Street,, while Montreal has 72 kilometres of bike lanes that are protected. Bikes are also kept by lanes . By 80 percent, a lane on Hornby Street decreased the amount of bicycles on the sidewalk in Vancouver, the BCCC’s Campbell said.

“One of the issues is, when individuals do cycle on the road, they get intimidated by motorists and passed very closely,” said Campbell, whose team is attempting to have the B.C. authorities to adopt a safer death law such as . “The painted lines are not particularly powerful. We get drivers that pass too closely to cyclists or honk or rev their motors{}”

There have been instances where cyclists have been chased by motorists down the block, ” Campbell said.

“These are most likely the very same people who give other drivers issues,” he said. “For some reason, we bear quite bad behaviour.”

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