In a newly designed city we could make conditions nearly perfect for all pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists to have their own lanes. This is a concept that is being discussed at the Oakland Planning and Development meetings with the possibility of future implementation. In the meantime, common sense dictates a practical safety measure that may accommodate each of those mentioned, even though none would get the ideal setup desired.
As others have mentioned before, initiate simple signs and rules for bicyclists to follow just as pedestrians and motorists do.
1. The sign would say “Walk bike on sidewalk this street” for Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill, Forbes Avenue in Oakland, etc. Bicyclists would walk their bikes on the sidewalk for a few blocks.
2. The sign would say “Ride bicycle on sidewalk this street” for Penn Avenue in Point Breeze, the Boulevard of the Allies in Schenley Park, etc. Bicyclists would ride their bikes on the sidewalk where it’s too dangerous on the street.
3. The sign would say “Ride bicycle on street this area” for Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield, Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside, etc. Bicyclists would ride their bikes in the street because these roads are wider and afford more viability for reaction times needed.
This ordinance could follow suit to existing conditions in any section of the city.
Notice that there are curb cuts on every sidewalk in the city. See for yourself if you can locate one sidewalk that doesn’t have a curb cut at the corner that provides ease of transition for bikes. Notice some areas where there is very little pedestrian movement on the sidewalks but severe congestion and contention on the street.
Sensibly, the law would be updated for our modern co-existence so that it becomes obvious over time when a bike should be walked on the sidewalk, ridden on the sidewalk or ridden on the street.
In the big picture, we all are subject to details and variations of rules to live by and to cooperate with. A development of directions for bicyclists is needed now!
City council? Safety director? Bicycle director? Anybody there? Will someone make a decision?
MAX SESTIL JR.