St. Cloud Cyclists Don’t Seem to Want to Use the Bike Lane
Recently, as we all want warmer weather, more people have been out riding their bikes, just as a lot more people are enjoying exercising outside. Even just going on leisurely walks around the neighborhood. And with that, comes the people and families on bikes. And the cool thing about St. Cloud is that in most areas if the road is a busy road, there are bike lanes. They are even made fairly obvious by the bike symbol painted right on the road.
When a person is walking along, especially if they have ear buds in, they cannot hear if a person on a bike is coming up behind them. Granted, it isn't the responsibility of the cyclist to make sure you hear them coming if you have your ears obstructed by ear buds, but one false move to the right or the left and you could be creamed by a person riding their bike on the sidewalk instead of the bike path. It is both of their responsibilities to be vigilant in this situation. But with that said, these people are usually grown adults. Reason I point that out is because if a family is out with little kids on bikes, there could be the concern that the kids might not stay on the path and not pay enough attention to the cars on the road. That could be bad. And the state makes allowances for that as mentioned later in this story.
Generally, if you aren't a family with kids under 10, you should be on the bike path.
So, question is, why do you insist on riding your bike on the sidewalk instead of the designated bike path? Honestly, the only people I ever see using the bike path like they should are people who look like "professional cyclists". They have all of the gear and are riding .like they are trying for a certain time trial. I'm sure they aren't really, but they look like they are- you get the picture. The people who are just out riding around are the ones not using the bike paths.
With all of this said...is it illegal or "banned" to have bikes on the sidewalks in St. Cloud? Short answer, no it isn't. But it is definitely more courteous, and safer. But officially this is what the State of Minnesota has to say on the matter.
Minnesota law does not require bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk and BikeMN does not generally recommend it because of safety hazards to the bicyclist and to pedestrians. Most importantly, sidewalks are not designed for bicycle travel speed. (BikeMN recommends that children 10 and under ride on the sidewalk and under the leadership of an adult as they may not yet have developed the physical skills and cognitive ability to navigate roadways.)
So, like I pointed out- little kids, I get it. But 10 and older, move to the bike lane. Thank you, sincerely, all the pedestrians.
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