Is it legal to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk?

I am usually cycling with my kids, and one is still learning. We are slowpokes. So we stick to sidewalks. But then I wondered, is that legal?

I turned to Kristin Kinnamon, president of the BIKES Club of Snohomish County, for the expert answer.

“State law says yes, it is legal to ride on sidewalks, but gives cities the option to limit sidewalk riding in city centers,” Kinnamon said.

Everett limits sidewalk riding in the downtown area. Residential areas are fine.

“I agree that families may find sidewalk riding to be the best option for kids who have trouble riding straight and predictably,” she said.

But if you’re a seasoned rider, the safer option is to stick to the street.

“I generally advise against adults riding on the sidewalk except for short distances, and certainly only at a slow speed out of respect to walkers and to the cars less likely to notice you (especially if you are riding opposite the direction of traffic),” Kinnamon said.

“One of the few times I have been hit by a car in tens of thousands of miles of riding was while riding the wrong way down a sidewalk in Everett. I was in a hurry to catch a bus. A driver pulled out of an alley — looking in the direction he expected traffic to come from. I came from the other way and he ran into my front tire,” she recalled. “Needless to say, I missed the bus.”

Read more bicycle-themed posts on the Street Smarts blog.

More in Local News

They’re rolling in the dough and preventing a trade war

Day 39 of 60 of the 2020 session of the Washington Legislature in Olympia.

Shirley Nysether died Sept. 28, 2019. In her memory, the Nysether Family Foundation has donated more than $270,000 to the Assistance League of Everett.
Gift of more than $270,000 secures Assistance League’s home

The Nysether Family Foundation donation pays off a loan for the nonprofit that runs Operation School Bell.

Stranded neighborhood near Monroe prepares for the worst

Three landowners agreed to a temporary road on their property as residents brace for more mudslides.

Dan Bates / The Herald 
                                Contractor Rob Enge (left) attaches a chain to a roll of heavy cable as Kody Brooks approaches to help carry it with a tractor Tuesday outside the Snohomish Carnegie Library The original building begins to look more and more like it did before an annex was added in the 1960s.
Annex removed from Snohomish’s 100-year-old Carnegie library

The brick structure was attached to the library in the late 1960s. Workers tore it down Tuesday.

Front Porch

EVENTS Teen STEM projects Teens are invited to experiment with electronic circuits… Continue reading

Will Boy Scout bankruptcy sweep abuse cases under the rug?

38 scouting officials in Washington were known to be a danger to kids, including one in Everett.

‘Sexually violent predator’ won’t be living on Whidbey Island

After 20 years on McNeil Island, Curtis Brogi wanted to move to Oak Harbor. He’ll end up in Tacoma.

Boeing asks that its big state tax break be suspended

The company hopes the move will resolve a trade dispute involving European rival Airbus.

South Lynnwood Park to get $2.5 million renovation

A new soccer field, covered picnic area and accessibility upgrades are among the improvements.

Most Read