Just as dangerous as a Segway

The life of a bicycle courier

One thing I was surprised to discover is that pedestrians are almost as dangerous to the full-time cyclist as drivers are. Especially if you indulge in sidewalk riding, but frequently even if you stick to the road, people will dart in front of you or suddenly stop or change direction without even the most cursory glance or indication of intent. A car, at least, can’t change its direction of travel by a full 180 degrees in half a second. Personally, I have never hit a pedestrian, but on at least two occasions I have bailed in the process of sudden evasive manoevers [sic] which they required of me.

(via BoingBoing)

Now this makes me mad. Pedestrians are a danger to bicyclists? There are a million bicycle messengers in downtown San Francisco and not a day goes by that I’m not nearly run down by some jackass flying down a crowded sidewalk at full speed or trying to dodge pedestrians crossing the street while he’s running a red light.

Bicyclists complain about drivers who don’t pay attention to them or don’t obey traffic laws, but I frequently see bicyclists who do the exact same thing to pedestrians. Inconsiderate bike riders on the sidewalks has become a major pet peeve of mine. Riding on the sidewalk is illegal for a reason. Riding on city streets might be dangerous, but so is riding on sidewalks where people are walking.