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Bicycle licenses or permits - are they required in Columbus

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Transportation Bicycle licenses or permits – are they required in Columbus

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 75 total)
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  • #213654

    geedeck
    Participant

    I’ll bike on side-streets, but those aren’t always available and I simply don’t trust my life/wish to challenge my health insurance policy with 2000lbs of someone and their vehicle who might be distracted with a cellphone/texting/whatever travelling at 35 mph or more. Sidewalks it is for those situations.

    Or if I could get a free helmet with CCTV rearview vision. That’d be okay too.

    #213655

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    Side roads are far more available than people often think and the path ways, at least going north, cover pretty well where they don’t (and will do so more as the Alum Creek trail continues to be connected).

    I have rarely felt the need to use a sidewalk in the city, traveling around downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. This is coming from someone who did use sidewalks when I first started cycling again. All it takes is a willingness to learn from others and gain the confidence to ride with traffic. Investments in good rear and front lights can increase visibility and mitigate instances where drivers would fail to see you. Mirrors can be a valuable tool as well to see and react to traffic around you.

    #213656

    I am rather late to the discussion (my account seems to have disappeared too so I get to be a new user again :( but as a commuter/recreational cyclist who puts at least 100 miles down a week in the city, I have some thoughts. I am not trying to tell any of you to ride beyond your comfort level or to compromise your safety but I do hope to change your perceptions of “safe riding”

    While I think the legal disposition of “Bikes on Sidewalks” has been adequately cited above, I would like to talk a little about WHY it’s a bad idea for cyclists to ride on the sidewalk. I will try to avoid sounding like I am lecturing but these are hard-won personal observations along with data points (Specifically, Driver-Action/Reaction times) provided by the NHTSA.

    1. Visibility. This is both regarding what you as a cyclist can see and perhaps more germane to the conversation, what motorists can see of you. Sidewalks often have obstructed fields of view due to light/power poles, trees, pedestrians, or currently, oversized-political signs (different discussion I know :) If they can’t see you, you have a problem. Especially with vehicles traveling in the SAME DIRECTION (Right-Hand Turns) as you probably can’t see them either.

    2. Driver habits. When learning to drive, we as motorists are taught to scan pedestrian crossings and the general area around them. That general area for a CAUTIOUS driver is typically a distance no greater than about 20 to 35 ft. of sidewalk in either direction. We establish these distances because we become conditioned to seeing very few moving objects on the sidewalk going more than 7 miles-an-hour(very-brisk walking pace)or 10.3 ft per second. In the typical 2 to 2-and-a-half seconds it takes a motorist to initiate, execute, and clear a maneuver, even a fast walking pedestrian is only going to cover around 25 ft.
    Above, a poster mentioned riding at around 10 miles per hour on the sidewalk on her bicycle as being a “safe” speed. Let’s apply the formula again. 10 MPH = 14.7 FPS x 2.5 sec = 36 3/4 ft. Put another way, that motorist and cyclist are potentially attempting to occupy the same space at the same time.

    3. Control. This really addresses two issues. One being physical control, the other being an attitude about how we share the roads. In terms of physical control, I don’t really have to go into detail beyond saying that a cyclist going speed X will virtually ALWAYS require more distance to stop than a Jogger/Runner/Skilled Roller-blader going the same speed. It’s just physics. Hence, if after reading point 2 you said “Well, what about runners/joggers?” I hope that addresses your concerns.
    The more substantial issue regarding control is part of a defensive rider/drivers attitude. The mantra for me goes something like this. “I can control what I do, I can’t control what you do”. This could range anywhere from finding alternate routes through troublesome areas or avoiding riding certain sections of road at certain times(Like taking side streets, the MORPC map is pretty good for this) to making sure my bicycle is in good repair. I can also commit to being clear with my non-verbal signals to motorists and other cyclists about my intentions and when a motorist DOES acknowledge my presence by waiting to make that turn or pass or whatever, I smile, I wave or nod, and I engender good will for myself and other cyclists. Or at least I wanna’ believe I do ;)

    4. Danger to pedestrians. It’s not their job to move for you. You’re on their turf and need to keep that in mind. Especially if they have a dog or are pushing a stroller or god forbid, both a dog and a stroller. (Looking at you Short North Moms) Now, if you are unfortunate enough to have a collision with a pedestrian on the sidewalk, even if they jumped in front of you, YOU will be the one to get cited should the cops get involved. If they are injured, you could be looking at a civil suit to boot.

    Okay, I think I have made my case about why sidewalk riding is dangerous. Do I expect you “No lights, no helmet, dark-clothed people” to listen? Not really but you are an accident waiting to happen anyway. To the folks who are trying to ride safely, if you still insist on riding on the sidewalk, please commit to coming to a near full stop at EVERY intersection you cross to check for traffic including other cyclists. Be safe and ride hard!

    #213657
    hugh59
    hugh59
    Participant

    Thanks Michael. For what it is worth, I ride on the road almost exclusively. On the rare occasion when I have to go on the sidewalk, I almost always get off my bike and walk it as a pedestrian. Helmet – positive. Lights – positive. Light colored clothes…uh…oops.

    Another thing I hate is when someone is riding a bicycle on the street coming the wrong way….especially on Broad Street!

    #213658

    cc
    Member

    hugh59 wrote
    Another thing I hate is when someone is riding a bicycle on the street coming the wrong way….especially on Broad Street!

    I actually saw the police ‘pull over’ and cite a cyclist for that once.

    #213659
    hugh59
    hugh59
    Participant

    Growl! I was walking around the block at about 9:30am this morning. I was heading east on Gay Street. I was coming up on the “fence” in front of Due Amici and I heard a bicycle coming up behind me. I started to consider whether I should step aside and let the cycle pass me before I walked into the narrow part of the sidewalk between the fence and the street. Then I heard a voice behind me say, “Get your butt out of my way.” I stepped aside and saw an overweight man on a big bicycle ride by me. He had a helmet on, but he also had over-the-ear headphones on.

    I made a comment as he went by, “Why don’t you ride on the street, like you are supposed to.” He got caught at the light at 3rd Street. As I walked around the corner, he said, “Sorry.”

    The irony is that we were both about 15 feet from where my bike was locked up at a bike rack.

    #213660

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    hugh59 wrote >>
    Growl! I was walking around the block at about 9:30am this morning. I was heading east on Gay Street. I was coming up on the “fence” in front of Due Amici and I heard a bicycle coming up behind me. I started to consider whether I should step aside and let the cycle pass me before I walked into the narrow part of the sidewalk between the fence and the street. Then I heard a voice behind me say, “Get your butt out of my way.” I stepped aside and saw an overweight man on a big bicycle ride by me. He had a helmet on, but he also had over-the-ear headphones on.
    I made a comment as he went by, “Why don’t you ride on the street, like you are supposed to.” He got caught at the light at 3rd Street. As I walked around the corner, he said, “Sorry.”
    The irony is that we were both about 15 feet from where my bike was locked up at a bike rack.

    As long as we can continue to focus on the big stuff that puts us on the map vs. the small stuff like riding legally and safely, this will continue to be a problem.

    #1089707

    Jake75
    Participant

    Google sent me here to see if Columbus, Ohio required bicycles to be licensed. Guess I’ll send an email to [email protected]. Years ago you went to a fire station to get the bicycle licenses – but they never seemed to have any. It could be useful in getting back a lost or stolen bicycle – most of those are sold at the police auction.

    #1089712

    ohbr
    Participant

    Not a license per say but you can register your bike and get a tracker for it here.

    http://www.columbus.gov/BugYourBike/

    BICYCLE REGISTRATION
    Increase the chance your bicycle will be returned if lost or stolen by registering your property with the City of Columbus.

    Register online , by phone or in person by providing your contact information along with distinguishing characteristics of your bicycle. You will be provided with a free RFID chip to install on your bicycle that can be scanned by partnering organizations to link your property back to you.

    Whether a bicycle is recovered by the City of Columbus, The Ohio State University, or COTA, this unified system will help lost bicycles find their way home.

    #1090714
    lazyfish
    lazyfish
    Participant

    we need to re-establish a bike license program, first to help track stolen bikes, but also to make sure there are basic bike safety rules that are followed. Was driving home the other night 10pm on High St. in Clintonville, young bike rider with no lights, no reflectors weaving in and out of the parked car lane and the traffic lane, a real mess.

    #1090721

    Nancy H
    Participant

    we need to re-establish a bike license program, first to help track stolen bikes, but also to make sure there are basic bike safety rules that are followed.

    I generally lean towards less regulation but tend to agree on this one. The handicapped curb cuts added in the Short North a few years ago just makes it easier for people to ride their bike on the sidewalks. I have been clipped by a bike so many times, I have lost track. Most don’t even have the courtesy to say “get out of my way.” Even the CPD bike units ride on the sidewalks in the SN.

    #1090800

    ohbr
    Participant

    It’s not a matter of licensing people. It’s about enforcing the laws. You can make people take all the tests in the world but without enforcement, it does no good. We see how well licensing car drivers work, let alone bike riders.

    #1090801

    pedex
    Participant

    we need to re-establish a bike license program, first to help track stolen bikes, but also to make sure there are basic bike safety rules that are followed. Was driving home the other night 10pm on High St. in Clintonville, young bike rider with no lights, no reflectors weaving in and out of the parked car lane and the traffic lane, a real mess.

    already covered under current laws

    secondly it has been well established in US court precedents that it is a right to travel freely under your own power on roads, paths, or any other surface open to the public commons for transportation ……..taxing this would be in essence taxing one’s existence

    #1090811
    lazyfish
    lazyfish
    Participant

    knowing the laws and rules is a component of a getting a license, it is easier to educate people if you can encourage them to get a license (track stolen bike) and at the same time, inspect the bike for safety features and give the bike riders a basic text/test of rules of the road….there are too many bikes on sidewalks, riding contraflow on one way streets, not stopping at redlights…if bikes are to be a permanent part of the roadways then bike rider should register their vehicles and know the basic rules, this does not seem complicated, more inertia (like riding thru a stop sign).

    #1090815

    sruckus
    Participant

    Bugmybike exists and is free, so no license needed for that functionality.

    The bike laws need to be reconsidered, though. Treating them the same as heavy vehicles just doesn’t make sense considering some of the advantages bikes have for their size and the less potential they have for causing injuries.

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 75 total)

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