Spokesman-Review Letter to the Editor
Need signs for safety

The safety of bicyclists on our streets is of heightened concern these days. One of the ways in which bicyclists are endangered is by not knowing where they may or may not legally operate their vehicles.
For instance, I understand that it is not legal for bicyclists to ride on downtown Spokane sidewalks. I presume this restriction is intended to make things safer for both bicyclists and pedestrians. But I’ve never seen a sign that would alert bicyclists to this law. Nor have I seen any signs which would inform anyone — bicyclists or motorists — that they are entering or leaving what is officially “downtown.”

If bicyclists know that they can’t ride on downtown sidewalks, they should also know that they therefore can’t assume the legal status of pedestrian and that they must not ride their vehicles in a crosswalk any more than a motorist may drive in a crosswalk.

As many injuries suffered downtown by bicyclists in accidents involving motor vehicles occur in or next to crosswalks, knowing that bicyclists are not to use crosswalks would go a long way to improve the safety of bicyclists. So, city of Spokane, how about some signs?

Joe Booth
Spokane

Mr. Booth has a point. It IS illegal to ride your bike on sidewalks downtown, yet 9 out of 10 people that I talk to in the community are not aware of this law. Even a WSDOT employee that I know wasn’t aware of this. A little signage might help the situation.

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