First and foremost, before riding your bicycle on a sidewalk, check with your local municipality to determine whether or not bicycles are permitted on sidewalks in the municipality. Many municipalities have by-laws that either prohibit the operation of bicycles on sidewalks entirely or in certain areas such as business areas.

Remember that sidewalks were designed for pedestrians. If you must be on the sidewalk consider walking your bike, especially in downtown areas. Always give pedestrians a little extra room. Always assume that pedestrians do not see or hear you. Watch your speed especially on residential streets and downhill. People can not hear you behind them. Never try to scare anybody. Slow down and call out – for example: “Excuse me, on your left please.” The same will apply if passing another bicycle. Be considerate of people crossing the street. You have the same responsibility as a motorist to yield to the right of way of pedestrians.

Finally, please respect the rights of those who can’t get around as easily as you can. Many pedestrians have disabilities which limit their hearing, vision or mobility. They may not be able to see or hear you approach, or able to quickly move out of the way. The safety of pedestrians depends on your courtesy. Please be courteous and slow down when operating a bicycle on a sidewalk.

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