When I first thought about this rant it was aimed at bike riders. I know that bike riders get overlooked by cars too and it is not always safe to ride on the street, even when there are bike lanes. I’m not a competent bike rider, but I also realize that the sidewalk is for WALKING! I occasionally ride on the sidewalk. If there are no pedestrians and traffic is tight, then fine, but I don’t do it as a general habit. Bicyclists are beholden to motorist laws. This may not be fair and perhaps should be reviewed, but the sidewalk is for walking.
This brings me to my point about the original versus the new focus of this rant. The other day I saw a motor scooter (not a kid on a scooter), but a motorized Vespa-like vehicle go from the road to the sidewalk to avoid a red light. Aside from the blatant illegality of this maneuver, I was blown away by the total disregard for the sidewalk’s purpose. I was not in the most walker-friendly part of town, but it is somewhere that has pedestrians on occasion. Riding a bike on the sidewalk is excusable (though not what it is there for) but a freaking motor scooter? Come on man!
The sidewalk is not a de facto lane for people to bike or ride on. It is for WALKING! It’s such a simple concept, but bears repeating in capital letters. I don’t care what you see in the movies. Driving on the sidewalk is not okay. If so, then drivers need to be prepared for people to start walking wherever they please. As I alluded to last week, I don’t think this is a good idea. If walkers are to assert their moral authority, then they need to show bikers, riders, and motorists that they can follow the rules even when chaos is the order of the day.