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Should cyclists ride (not walk) their bike through a pedestrian walkway at an intersection? This may vary by municipality, so I am specifically interested in Houston, although I would be curious about other cities as well.

I've had several close calls as a driver with bikes coming out of nowhere rapidly on the sidewalk and crossing while I was making a turn.

  • It may vary within Houston (presumably Houston, TX, USA). In the city I live in, there are different rules within the downtown, for example, versus other districts. – Batman Jan 31 '15 at 1:04
  • Site is not for legal advice. But typically a crosswalk is designated for pedestrians. – paparazzo Jan 31 '15 at 3:03
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because asking for legal advice. – paparazzo Jan 31 '15 at 3:04
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    I can't find anything in the Help section saying that questions combining cycling and the law are by definition "off topic". The topic was discussed in 2012 in Meta but with no conclusion. That said, a question asking about something in a single, specific location.....it just strikes me as far too localized to be of any benefit to a wider audience. – PeteH Jan 31 '15 at 22:21
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    This doesn't answer your question, but interestingly the state of CT considers cyclists riding in a crosswalk to be pedestrians. If they're not in a crosswalk, they are considered vehicles. Naturally, virtually no drivers know this. – Carey Gregory Feb 1 '15 at 16:56
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I suspect that the answer here would be to use some common sense.

I'm not sure anyone would condone cyclists riding along the pavement/sidewalk - intersection or not. This is a risk to pedestrians, and generally gives cyclists a bad reputation.

But, as a motorist, what are you going to do? Drive into them?

I'm pretty sure that in most any jurisdiction, that would put you in the wrong.

Even if you did so accidentally, when you had right of way, I'm pretty sure you'd find yourself in a position where you'd have to prove your innocence, rather than someone having to prove your guilt.

Driving is a social activity in that, like it or not, we have to share the roads with other people. Try not to let the fact that some of those people (whether on 2- or 4-wheels) are idiots, ruin your day.

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I know I voted to close as I don't think this site should get into legal advice but you have an answer that ignores the legal aspect and there is a legal aspect.

The law in Houston is if you are in a business district you must ride on the road. In a residential you must ride road or sidewalk - cannot go back and forth. The definition of business district is a little vague - business for 300 ft (since Houston has no zoning laws that is vague).

A friend of mine was struck riding a bicycle in crosswalk with a walk sign and the vehicle was not ticketed as the bicycle was in a place it was not supposed to be. If he was walking his bicycle he would have been a pedestrian and the vehicle would have been at fault.

I am not an attorney and don't take this as legal advice but if the crosswalk is legally designated for pedestrians then if you are riding in the crosswalk you don't have the legal protection of a pedestrian (unless a bicycle rider is legally a pedestrian).

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  • +1 for the who is at fault for the collision. I as well have a friend that lives in Austin TX and she was cited for riding in the crosswalk when a car hit her. I don't agree with the car getting off the hook because of that reason. – BPugh Feb 2 '15 at 14:07

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