Sunday on Nextdoor.com, which is a cool networking website and app for meeting your neighbors, someone posted about a confrontation she had with a group of bicyclists.

The short of it: a group of bicyclists were riding down Monroe Ave. and when the light turned red in their direction they all kept riding, when the lady started to go, because it was green, the bicyclists told her they could disobey traffic signals since they were part of a group.

Well, she went and found out some great info that I thought we should all know.

From the City of Grand Rapids website, GRDRIVINGVCHANGE.ORG, which opens with “WE’RE ALL DRIVERS” says this about rolling through stoplights or stop signs on a bicycle even if you’re “in a group”:

Bicyclists must obey all traffic signals and signs.

Just like any other driver on the road, bicyclists must stop at stop signs and red lights. This makes them more predictable to drivers and safer on the road.

 

Riding side-by-side is allowed.

Riding two people side-by-side is allowed in Michigan. However, bicyclists can receive citations for riding more than two abreast. Be courteous and “single up” when other road users are present and it is safe to do so. Remember, sharing the road is a two-way street.

 

Neither of those things nor anything on the website says that groups of bicyclists can ride through a red light because they’re special.  Unless it’s a race or bicycle funeral procession, led by police in both situations, you can’t just blow through stop lights or signs; you can be hit! #duh

Also while we’re chit-chatting about bike rules, I always wonder about bikes on the sidewalk – partially because as a walker, it pisses me off.  If I were biking, I’d totally do it!  I know, I’m like an onion, many layers.   My curiosity is what are the rules about riding on the sidewalk?  Here’s what the city’s website GRDrivingChange.org says,

Bicyclists belong on the road.

Bicyclists are encouraged to ride on the road with the flow of traffic in either the bike lane or traffic lane except where prohibited by law (like expressways, for example). Riding on the road increases the visibility of bicyclists, leading to fewer crashes. In certain areas, including downtown Grand Rapids, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is prohibited.

Click here to download a map of the sidewalk restriction zone for bicyclists.

So for the most part, I apologize for my death stare I’ve given to plenty of bicycles on the sidewalk.  That area though if you “Click Here” is a pretty big area, so there’s a good number of rude bicyclists that deserved my glare.

I promise I’m not against bicycling. There was a period of my life (a skinnier time) where I biked a lot. I just know that everyone is in a “ME” mentality and we have to remember there are others out there.  Also, a bike is no contest to a car; and if you ride, you know every car driver thinks they’re first.  So stay safe, my friends.

No_Sidewalk_Riding_Zone