I often see the James Street Improvement District Bike Squad guys on their bikes riding on the sidewalk throughout Lancaster. It’s happened more than once that I have almost hit one of them while driving because they crossed over an intersecting road from a side walk; Often against the flow of traffic. I’ve also almost been hit by them while walking down the sidewalk. I know this has happened to other people as well.
When I’ve questioned some of the riders about why they are the sidewalk they have told me things like, “To better serve people.” When I told them it is against bicycle law to ride on the sidewalk, “No, we’re going slow enough that it’s ok.”
Today I saw another one riding down the sidewalk outside my office and pedestrians had to get out of the way so he could pass. So, instead of just grumbling about it I decided to look up “bike law in PA.”
Guess what they’re wrong. Really what they are doing is setting a poor example, when they should be following proper bike safety and laws. The info below is from a site put out by the PA Department of Transportation. PACommutes.com. It’s pretty straight forward.
Pennsylvania Bicycling Laws
In Pennsylvania, a bicycle is considered a vehicle, and you must obey all of the laws that apply to other vehicles. There is also a set of rules that apply specifically to bicycles. If you ride in violation of the traffic laws, you greatly increase your risk of a crash, and will likely be found at fault in the event of an accident.
- Pedestrians have the right-of-way on sidewalks and bicycle paths. You must give an audible signal as you approach and pass a pedestrian.
- You are not permitted to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk in a business district (except where permitted by official traffic control devices), or where there is a bicycle-only lane available.