Our local downtown (Old Town) areas' main thoroughfare is also part of a highway that runs through many cities. Although the maximum speed slows significantly through this area to 25 mph, many motorists drive faster and there isn't a lot of room to ride on the road between a line of parallel parked cars and the two lanes traveling each direction.
Because I frequent this area, I find myself riding side streets until I have to cross over to Main Street and then I ride the sidewalk very, very slowly (ridiculously so, truth be told - as in, I could probably get off and walk faster, but I'm lazy and don't want to do that).
|There are a few of these signs that appeared magically over the last few months.|
|Find the dismount sign painted on the sidewalk.|
|The red arrow marks the spot on the pavement with the large, painted circle and its instructions.|
|Lo and behold, signs WERE placed at eye level announcing the ordinance.|
It turns out that there was a news article released locally about a dismount zone in the summer of 2013! How could I have gone so long and never noticed these signs?! As it turned out, an ordinance was enacted to help prevent collisions or near-misses through several blocks of the downtown area of Main Street. Apparently, there are no fines for not following the ordinance, but there is hope that it will cause more people to dismount their bicycles (or skateboards) when traveling through these few blocks.
Because I travel through this area very frequently, I can say with certainty that I almost never see anyone walking their bicycles on the sidewalk (In fact, just while taking these few photos in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day, I spotted a handful of cyclists who just rolled right through). If I had the time, I'd actually stop all of the riders and ask if they are even aware of the ordinance because I suspect that the majority (like myself) are (or in my case, were) unaware that this exists. True, it just makes sense to walk a bike in this type of area, but because it's been used by cyclists, I think there needs to be a better way of getting the news out to those on two wheels because I am not convinced the signs are doing the trick.
On another city webpage, I noted that the ordinance is a "voluntary" action, which would explain why there are no fines currently in place for violating the rule. I am really interested to see what comes from all of this and if fines will eventually be imposed to those who choose to disregard the signs.
Are you permitted to ride on sidewalks in your community? If there are signs that ask cyclists to dismount, are they more visible/obvious than these signs are? Are there fines for disobeying the signs/ordinances/etc? I am very curious as to what others across the nation and abroad have in place for highly pedestrian areas.
In the meantime, I've done my best to walk my bike through these few blocks. It's not the end of the world to jump to my feet for a bit, but I do wish that the spread of information was a little more accessible. Learning about this ordinance almost a year and a half after the fact seems a little much.