The title sounds crazy, but trust me on this one. Many municipalities throughout Wisconsin tell you to not ride your bike on a sidewalk. In fact, many municipalities, including Milwaukee, make it against the law to ride your bike on a sidewalk.
The Danger of Biking on Sidewalks
Bikes should not be on sidewalks because when a motorist makes a turn through an intersection, they do not look for bikes coming through a crosswalk. Often times, bikes are traveling too quickly to and through a cross walk to even be seen by drivers. This can lead to a motorist hitting the cyclist in the middle of the crosswalk.
Thus, one of the biggest reasons for outlawing bikes on sidewalks is to decrease the risk of intersection accidents. However, such laws mean that a cyclist who is injured while riding a bike on a sidewalk will not be compensated for their injury, or will have their compensation substantially reduced because of their law-breaking.
Bikes are Vehicles
We have blogged about this before, but bikes, like cars, are vehicles. Vehicles belong in the street. If you get hit on a bike in the street, and are obeying traffic laws, then you will have a case against the motorist and his or her insurance company. Thus, following local bike laws puts you in a better situation should you ever suffer injury in a bike accident. If you ever find yourself in this situation, we recommend you seek the advice of a qualified bike accident attorney as soon as possible.