Hey You, Get off the Sidewalk!

sidewalkBikeNOHow many times have you been riding your bike along the sidewalk and been told, probably rather impolitely, to “get OFF the sidewalk!”? How many times have you been riding your bicycle, in the lane, and been yelled at by a driver to “get ON the sidewalk!”? What’s a bicyclist to do?!

The bicycling/sidewalk confusion seems to be the worst when we talk about downtown. To help clear things up, Movability consulted with Nadia of the CoA Bike Program to get the definitive word on the issue. Nadia noted, “Basically, sidewalk riding is restricted in areas that are projected to have high pedestrian density.” Where are these areas? Glad you asked! Here is a handy map for all to reference. Spread this far and wide and let’s clear up the confusion! The sidewalks in red are those you CANNOT ride your bike on. The rest are open to all.

portion of map

It’s legal to ride your bicycle on any sidewalk in town except for these few downtown corridors. So, if your comfort level is riding on a sidewalk and that’s what motivates you to get on the bike, good for you! Stay on the sidewalk, enjoy your ride, be sure to be respectful of others using the same space and ride more slowly in areas with pedestrians. If the sidewalk is crowded, you can always jump off and walk your bike until you have some more room to maneuver. And those of you who prefer to ride on the road, great! Be sure you know how to ride in traffic safely.  And if you would like some instruction on riding in traffic or maybe a refresher course, check out this local online learning tool.


2 Responses to Hey You, Get off the Sidewalk!

  1. Tom Wald says:

    Other places in Austin where sidewalk riding is prohibited:
    * Guadalupe St. from MLK Jr. Blvd. to 25th St. (or 26th St.)
    * UT Austin campus sidewalks

  2. Lance says:

    Yeah, but a UT sidewalk tour is one of the funnest rides in Austin!