Original post made
on Nov 24, 2012
Mr. Zaumen is incorrect. It is illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalks in downtown Palo Alto. That includes University Avenue, but also the side streets of downtown. He should read the local ordinance on the city's web site, as I have. As the writer acknowledges, the bad behavior of motorists is no justification for endangering pedestrians.
I used to walk my bike on University, or ride in the street - but that was long ago.
After the accidents and injuries I have read about I have to admit University and downtown is problematic for bikes, and pedestrians as well. People are driving like idiots all over the place.
I do not care what the bikes do as long as they are respectful and careful to pedestians .... hell, all life takes to be civil is just a little thought and judgement, but it seems every time I see a bike downtown it is coming at me from the front or the back and they do not seem to know it is illegal, or care to try to be careful or respectful.
I do not recall seeing any signage as to no bikes on the sidewalks, or walk bikes on the sidewalks - or am I just forgetting? Signs should go up.
But people just do not seem to think much or care much for bothering others. I routinely see gangs of people walking in a big crown down University in a big crowd that you cannot get by from the front or pass from the rear. They often stop in the middle of the sideway to talk to make a phone call or tend their babies in a stroller and block the whole sideway!
What on Earth is wrong with people?
The other day going home after shopping at Whole Foods there was a car with crowd around it all doors open and people just standing in the middle of the lane of traffic, blocking the lane. There used to be a huge stigma for doing that or for people who slow down to walk across the street, but its like people are just dazed or on drugs these days the stupid thoughtless things they do.
And here in Palo Alto where people are supposed to be so extra smart?