Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Columbus City Bike Laws: Part 6

Today we're going to hit on where your bike is allowed to be, and also where other vehicles AREN'T allowed to be because that space is for you and your bike.
2173.09 Parking of bicycle.

(a) No person shall park a bicycle upon a sidewalk in such a manner so as to unduly interfere with pedestrian traffic or upon a roadway so as to unduly interfere with vehicular traffic.
(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. (Ord. 1579-72; Ord. 2120-03 § 1 (part).)
Be considerate when you're parking your bike. Don't chain it to a parking meter, or that tree outside the building you're going to, etc. Remember that you're an ambassador for cyclist commuters whenever you're out there.
2173.10 Riding bicycles on sidewalks.

(a) No person shall operate a bicycle upon a sidewalk, except, at locations that the Columbus city council designates as bikeways or paths.
(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. (Ord. 1050-77; Ord. 2120-03 § 1 (part).)
Here's a real big one. NO ONE is allowed to ride a bike on the sidewalk. Period. Bike trails may look like sidewalks, but they're not: they're for us. It's dangerous to pedestrians (and us) to have us on the sidewalk. Take the place you're entitled: the road.

When I was still taking the bus to work in my pre-bike days, there were a couple occasions where I'd hop off the bus and nearly get taken out by a cyclist who was too cowardly to drive on the road. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way, and in this case particularly.

2173.105 Driving motor vehicles and riding motorcycles on sidewalks, bike paths or bike lanes.

(a) No person shall operate a motor vehicle or motorcycle upon a sidewalk, bike path or in a bike lane.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one (1) year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one (1) predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one (1) year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two (2) or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree. (ORC 4511.711; Ord. 1050-77; Ord. 2120-03 § 1 (part).)
Now here's one for us: no vehicle is allowed to drive on a sidewalk, bike path, or bike lane. That includes scooters, Vespas, and the whole nine yards. Again, that's our place.

So, a short one today, but three very important things to remember. And the first two boil down to being considerate (and safe, too!).

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