Got a question from a reader about whether the sidewalk law in Kitchener-Waterloo is enforced.
My experience tells me it’s not enforced. I’ve never been stopped for riding on a sidewalk. I’ve never seen anyone stopped for riding on a sidewalk and lastly I’ve never heard of anyone stopped for riding on a sidewalk.
And yes if you’re riding on a sidewalk in K-W and your wheel diameter is more than 50cm then your in violation of the by-law, it’s not in my understanding violating the highway traffic act. (If you ride a Brompton (folding bike) then I presume you’re ok!)
The rumour I’ve heard (and I can’t remember where) is that police do not enforce the by-law cause they’d rather not have cyclists sharing the road with motor vehicles.
It is a question that we’ve debated before, check out Rob’s post and the commentary entitled ‘Yet Another Sidewalk Cycling Post‘. Also another local bicycle blog has ‘running’ commentary on Waterloo’s bylaw amongst other laws: K-W bicycle blog: bicycles and Ontario / Waterloo law/bylaw.
The reason this question caught my attention is because tonight I rode a fair distance on the sidewalk. I had to pick up my kids tonight up near Erbsville and then trailer them back to Uptown Waterloo. I was planning on talking the trail around Conservation Lake and then hook up with the Laurel Trail through the University and then through Waterloo Park. Only the trail was closed, presumably due to downed trees from last week’s ice storm. So I took the kids in the Trailer using the sidewalk from Beaver Creek and Fischer-Hallman to Columbia and Westmount before jumping on the University trails to Ring Road to Seagram drive and then into Waterloo Park.
The reason I took the trailer on the sidewalk on that stretch is that in parts it’s too narrow, too many cars, higher speeds and my cargo too precious. On that section I passed one jogger, who was the only pedestrian and for the record that segment has zero driveways.
If it’s just me, I never take the sidewalk, but I’m much more sensitive to safety when I’m trailering my kids. I also wore my helmet, potholes are everywhere this time of year.