Cycling on sidewalks: Permitted or not?

Cycling on sidewalks is prohibited under the Motor Vehicle Act, unless a sign or a bylaw directs otherwise. In Vancouver, bridges are a common exception to this general rule. For example, cyclists are not permitted on the roadways, but may use the sidewalk, on the Lions Gate and the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge.

Some cyclists will occasionally opt to use the sidewalk to avoid dangerous roadways. However, they risk being fined for doing so. A better option is to plan a route that has bike paths to avoid dangerous roadways. When this is not possible, cyclists can walk their bicycle on the sidewalk for dangerous portions of their route.

In Hadden v. Lynch, the plaintiff was cycling on the sidewalk towards an intersection, and then began cycling across the crosswalk. He was going fairly quickly – over 30km/hr – and a truck turning right crashed into him. The plaintiff was found 100% liable, in part because he violated the laws that apply to cyclists; namely, he was not allowed to ride on the sidewalk, and he was required to dismount from his bicycle if going across a crosswalk. As a result, he was unable to recover any damages for his injuries.

If you find yourself suffering injuries after a bike accident, it is important to obtain effective legal representation, as ICBC may dispute liability. Our personal injury lawyers have decades of experience in dealing with ICBC to obtain fair compensation for our clients.

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