Bicycles are becoming more and more popular these days, especially in cities. This is true across the United States. Unfortunately, people do not always ride bikes safely.
here are times when you might see people riding bicycles on the roads and weaving in and out of traffic. They also ride on city sidewalks, which can prove to be dangerous at times as well. As you are noticing people on their bicycles, you may be wondering if it is actually legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk or if they really need to limit their riding to designated bike lanes. According to the Texas Department of Transit, there is no state law that prevents bicyclists from riding on the sidewalks in the city. However, there are often local governments that do have enforced ordinances.
In Houston, bicycles are not typically allowed on the city’s sidewalks. However, if the roads are unsafe (or are considered hazardous), on the other hand, the city may make exceptions to that rule. According to the Houston Bicycle Ordinance, the following rules are enforced:
- People should not ride bicycles on sidewalks within the business district.
- City traffic officials can place signs outside of the business district wherever they feel they are needed and the bicyclists must follow those signs.
- If a bicyclist is riding on the sidewalk and a pedestrian is walking on the same sidewalk, the pedestrian always has the right of way. The bicyclist also has a responsibility to let the pedestrian know verbally that they are there and passing the pedestrian.
What is the penalty for a bicyclist riding on the sidewalk?
Riding on the sidewalk in Houston is considered a misdemeanor and there is a fine of up to $50 for the first offense and up to $100 for the second and subsequent offenses. If you were walking and had an accident with a bicyclist, it is probably a good idea to consult a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can give you sound advice on how to acquire the compensation that you need and deserve. Accidents often result in your needing medical treatment or physical therapy on a long-term or permanent basis. You will want to ensure that you are able to get the treatment that you need without financial stress.