Riding in crosswalks

More people visit this post than all others put together. I think it’s a search engine thing. Since people actually do visit looking for advice, I though it best if I updated and re-arranged for clarity (and to make myself look better). Less rant – more info.

Thanks to “G, on September 10, 2012 at 11:04 am” for pointing out my mistakes.

Riding in crosswalks

I was riding home, here in Edmonton, Canada. It was warm, sunny, and clear. A beautiful fall day, and a beautiful ride, mostly through parkland. On a day like that there’s no place better to be than Edmonton.

I have a fair commute, each way. While the ride may be awesome, especially on a nice day, I’m in as much of a hurry to get home as any commuter.

I’d just crossed the river, turned left off of the LRT bridge, and was riding west along the River Road path, I’m guessing around 6:30 pm. I approached the River Road crossing I use to connect the River Road path to the Victoria Park path that climbs out of the valley.

The yellow lights were flashing, All traffic had stopped to wait while a pedestrian and another cyclist crossed. I was right behind them. Looking good so far, for me anyway. I took a look, and turned to cross in the crosswalk, still mounted.

A guy in a van a couple of cars down in the line screamed at the other cyclist that he had to dismount in a crosswalk. I yelled back, “No, he doesn’t.” A couple “Yes, he does!”, “No, he doesn’t!”‘s back and forth, and he became incensed.

I slowed down and looked back (at this particular crossing you have to). He proceeded to turn right when the traffic moved and chase me, driving behind me with his head stuck out the window yelling at me. I pulled into the Royal Glenora parking lot and got the inevitable lecture, after which I told him what my impression of the law was.

He said he had the right to run me down if I was riding in the crosswalk, and charge me with any damages to his van. People like that scare me, not so much for his misinterpretation of a law that isn’t very clear, but for the fact he thought he’d have the right to hit someone.

Yikes!

He had a blinking yellow, was required to yield at any rate (*only because cars in front of him have stopped), and he’d have had to wait much longer if we’d dismounted and walked across. It was to his advantage that we rode across, but that wasn’t the point, for him.

Really, I wasn’t sure of the law, and this puzzled me for some time. I recall reading that cyclists aren’t required to dismount when riding through crosswalks (not referring to riding on the sidewalk, but where bike paths and multi-use paths cross a street on a crosswalk). I’ve never been able to find where I read it. Was the guy right?

Drivers are required to give right of way to pedestrians, but not to cycists riding their bike.

If you’re walking your bike, you’re a pedestrian, and have the right of way.

If you’re riding your bike in a crossing, you’re a vehicle, and are expected to cede the right of way to any crossing traffic, including motor vehicles, pedestrians, and even other cyclists.

*Yellow Flashing Lights are for pedestrians, and don’t afford cyclists the same legal, or actual, protection.

So I sent an email to the city, and they helped clear it up for me:

Good morning Jim,

Thank you for your e-mail of September 29 [2009]. Your current impression of the legalities regarding cycling in crosswalks is correct.

There is currently no section in the Edmonton Traffic Bylaw 5590 or the Alberta Traffic Safety Act specifically dealing with cyclists in crosswalks. Cyclists are not legally required to dismount at crosswalks and there is nothing to prohibit a cyclist from riding along a crosswalk.

In terms of the operations of a crosswalk, as stated in the Alberta TSA “Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation” Part 2, Division 4 (75): “A person driving a vehicle shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within the crosswalk.”

Therefore, as you had recognized, only if a cyclist dismounts and is therefore considered a pedestrian and not a vehicle by law, does he or she obtain the right-of-way over motorists.

If a cyclist chooses to ride his or her bike along the crosswalk, they are considered a vehicle. The crosswalk only serves to provide protection for pedestrians.

This does not excuse vehicles from exercising due care, but they are not legally obligated to yield to a cyclist who rides through a crosswalk.

From our perspective, we typically encourage cyclists to dismount, especially at busier intersections. We must address all cyclists and their varying levels of skill and comfort.

I hope this helps. If you need any more clarification or have further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. Have a great day.

So, now we know.

32 Responses

  1. Very interesting, thanks for posting this. I noticed bikes in crosswalks weren’t explicitly referred to in the law, and I reasoned that I was supposed to dismount at a crosswalk since they are meant for pedestrians and therefore riding through one would be similar to riding on the sidewalk. Now I know the facts!

    In practice I typically dismount at busy intersections because cars stop sooner, but ride on through the less busy ones.

  2. It may have been something that I’d written somewhere where you got your impression of the crosswalk/cycling laws. After studying the HTA and the City Bylaws and other City publications, it’s the conclusion I came to and told people several years ago.

    But in the past year or so, as the question resurfaced, I hadn’t actually been able to re-track down the specific statements that I’d used as references.

    So I was starting to wonder if I’d been correct.

    Thanks for tracking down a definitive answer!

  3. Thanks for posting this, Jim, I’ll be sure to point this post out to anyone who asks me about this.

    It’s amazing how angry some people are, and for reasons that make no sense at all. You already found my LJ post on my own experience with a nonsensical angry driver, which I had also shared on C2E (and which as usual turned into a stupid s*%&storm).

    I’m glad those people are in a very small minority, but they can be a very scary minority sometimes, especially if they’re driving around in a one-ton legalized weapon.

  4. Thanks for posting this. It’s something I had wondered about for some time.

  5. As you write-it would have taken longer for you to walk across than to ride across the cross walk. So? You pretend you are doing the driver a favour. You’re not. The problem for the driver is mostly that they had to stop at all. It costs money to stop a car. It takes time. It requires decisions. All of these are inevitable when you are driving and have a pedestrian. If you have a cyclist, what you have is someone who is on a vehicle and doesn’t want to wait for their turn to go-so they pretend to be a pedestrian and like naughty children blame their laziness and rule breaking on everyone else. Get off you bike and walk, or wait your turn. Playing the fool-leaves you the fool. When you get run down like a dog you will be the one all gimped up or dead, dragging your foolish carcass around blaming everyone for your stupid decision.

  6. Hooray! My first negative comment. I knew you were out there somewhere.

    Oh, where to start.

    It costs money to stop a car? Really? Really. Does it occur to you you’d have to stop your car, costing you money, if I got off my bike and walked? That you have to stop for the flashing yellow lights? That it’ll actually cost you more the longer I take to cross?

    Etc.

    It always cracks me up when a motorist criticizes cyclists for their “laziness”. There are some valid criticisms, but lazy isn’t one I’d hang on cyclists. Hard to take you seriously.

    Even harder when you add the bit about being “run down like a dog”.

    Time to switch to decaf buddy.

    It doesn’t cost you money to stop. It costs you money to drive. I know it. I can’t afford it. Don’t resent me for trying to stay healthy while I save a few bucks.

  7. What is wrong with people? Cars have the right of the way 100% of the time even if you are a pedestrian. Why? Go ahead, get hit by a vehicle, you are dead. Can’t talk about your “right” of way when you are 6 feet under. In many countries vehicles have the right of way for this very obvious reason. I have taught my kids that vehicles ALWAYS have the right of way, I don’t want them spouting off about their “right” of way after they got run over. Wake up. Get off your bike, look both ways and cross when the cars let you.

  8. We’re all fully aware that if we get run over by a car we can die. It rarely turns out good for us. We do look both ways. We do wait for the cars to stop.

    Not only had the cars stopped to let me cross, in my case there were flashing yellow lights instructing them to stop.

    But you want me to get off my bike too, for no lawful reason I can discern.

    They stopped and waited for me to cross. So I crossed. I, lawfully, rode across from path to path, and went along my merry way.

    Lawfully. That’s the point of the post.

    You have a problem with that. And your problem becomes my problem when you come driving after me leaning out your van window screaming at me to “get off your bike – it’s against the law”.

    I prefer if people knew the laws and followed them. That way we can know what to expect from each other.

    But, as this tale of woe clearly shows, and we’ve all come to know – they’re out there. Don’t assume the driver knows the law. Some don’t believe we belong on the roads, period. Some think nothing of using their vehicle to send that message. Don’t assume the driver cares. Don’t assume the driver has a clue. Some aren’t even looking where they’re going, so be sure to look the driver in the eyes.

    Some just shouldn’t be driving, yet there they are.

    There are some bad drivers and some inexperienced ones on the road. And some angry ones. Always better safe than sorry.

  9. LOL at all the troll comments on a 1 year old post.

  10. I have a question about this post especially since i was recently hit by a car while riding my bike across a cross walk ( I know now that i should have walked my bike across). But now the driver of the vehicle is telling me that it was completely my fault that he hit me and that i have to pay for the damages to his car! He was turning right at a red light and turned into me and my bike. i’m under the impression that he would have hit me either way. Please help ASAP

  11. I really wish I could help you, but maybe a lawyer is what you need. He did have a red light. Was there a lot of damage to the guy’s car? How about to you and your bike?

    While as I mentioned I’m not a lawyer, I’m doubtful the driver has a case at all. But you may very well have one if you or your bike was hurt in any way.

    If he has a red light, it means he has to yield to anybody. I assume since he had a red that you had a green light. You are perfectly within your rights to ride in the crosswalk (the sidewalk is a different matter, assuming you weren’t going from path to path). You do not have to yield to anyone who has a red light. You have the right of way. That should be obvious, but it’s hard to find where this exact situation is addressed.

    If you are really in this situation (as opposed to a troll) I’d recommend contacting the City regarding the laws in this situation before contacting a lawyer.

  12. You and your subject are hilarious! Did you actually read the response you got from the city or just see what you wanted to.

    Quote: “There is currently no section in the Edmonton Traffic Bylaw 5590 or the Alberta Traffic Safety Act specifically dealing with cyclists in crosswalks. Cyclists are not legally required to dismount at crosswalks and there is nothing to prohibit a cyclist from riding along a crosswalk.”

    Which means you cannot be CHARGED as there is nothing preventing you from risking your life!
    Barring a driver with an implicit intent to hit you,
    YOUR HOOPED!!!

    Thank goodness your question to the city noted you knew drivers where not required to yield to bikes in crosswalks.
    This leads me to wonder why on the earth you would so foolishly risk your life when legally you don’t and won’t have a leg to stand on, pardon the pun.
    But to refresh your memory and following readers:

    Quoted directly from your response from the city.

    “In terms of the operations of a crosswalk, as stated in the Alberta TSA “Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation” Part 2, Division 4 (75): “A person driving a vehicle shall yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within the crosswalk.”
    Therefore, as you had recognized, only if a cyclist dismounts and is therefore considered a pedestrian and not a vehicle by law, does he or she obtain the right-of-way over motorists. If cyclists chooses to ride his or her bike along the crosswalk, they are considered a vehicle and the crosswalk only serves to provide protection for pedestrians. Obviously, this does not excuse vehicles from exercising due care but they are not legally obligated to yield to a cyclist who rides through a crosswalk.”

    Get a grip, cars are not LEGALLY responsible to yield to bikes in a crosswalk! PERIOD! Yellow flashing light or not!!!
    What part of this sign do you not get.
    X Pedestrian Crossing X

  13. I think I’m dealing with a comprehension problem, but just on the off chance it’s a clarity problem:

    Cyclists have to yield to vehicles. But they can legally ride across WHEN THE FUCKING CARS AREN”T FUCKING COMING!!!!! LIKE WHEN THEY”RE FUCKING ALL STOPPED AT A RED FUCKING LIGHT!!!!! OR THERE”S NOT A FUCKING CAR ANYWHERE IN FUCKING SIGHT!!!!!

    I hope that helps.

  14. Your idea to blog about this particular situation was an EXCELLENT idea, many people are unaware of bike and crosswalk situation! The way I worded my opening statement in the previous post was somewhat argumentative, and I apologize!

    I get that you understand the basics!

    What you described in your original post does not jive with your rant however.
    To refresh your memory with your own words:

    Quote: A guy in a van screamed at me and another cyclist riding through a crosswalk under a blinking yellow light last Friday. He then proceeded to chase me down, driving behind me with his head stuck out the window yelling at me. I pulled into a parking lot, and got the inevitable lecture, after which I told him what my impression of the law was.
    He said he had the right to run me down if I was riding in the crosswalk, and charge me with any damages to his van. Idiots like that scare me, not so much for his misinterpretation of a law that isn’t very clear, but for the fact he thought he’d have the right to hit someone. He had a blinking yellow, was required to yield at any rate, and he’d have had to wait much longer if we’d dismounted and walked across. It was to his advantage that we rode across, but that wasn’t the point, for him.

    Now in all fairness to you the guy was definitely not in a right state of mind that tracked you down! Did you every think your action may have scared the heck out of the driver, just a thought, not meant to aggravate you!
    And I don’t condone in anyway what he said he could do to you specifically!

    However when a bike approaches a crosswalk and in your case a controlled crosswalk, usually cruising fairly quickly and presses the yellow light activation button then matter of factly flies across the crosswalk using the traffic signal as some sort of imaginary force field they are risking catastrophy! Number one the yellow wigwag lights you refer to are for PEDESTRIAN use only and afford THEM the protection they deserve! A bike however is a much faster moving object and does not afford the driver of a motor vehicle time to respond to its prescence in a crosswalk!
    YOUR RIGHT, the law doesn’t prohibit you from using crosswalks riding a bike, but neither does it protect you! and as a bike is subject to obey the Alberta Highway Traffic Act, you must yield to the vehicle, and conversely the vehicle has absolutely no obligation to yield to you!

    Subsequently you as the rider of the bike could be charged with failing to yield the right of way!

    I get that you basically understand this, but do your other readers!

  15. […] recent, occasionally heated exchange (sorry about that) on the subject of riding vs dismounting in crosswalks took a sudden […]

  16. Reblogged this on Jim's Edmonton Cycling Blog.

  17. You’re not quite right, G.

    Vehicles have obligations to yield in the interest of safety, overruling right-of-way considerations. e.g. the subsection on yielding to pedestrians includes “(4) Nothing in subsection (3) relieves a person driving a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of pedestrians.”, which in this context refers to the fact that even if a pedestrian is crossing illegally, the driver of the vehicle is obligated to exercise due care, including taking reasonable measures to avoid a collision with the pedestrian. Which includes yielding the right-of-way (which legally would belong to the driver).

    Also, on right turns off reds, cyclists in the crosswalk would legitimately would have the right-of-way (not that I’d recommend blasting through an intersection off the sidewalk, for obvious reasons–and the courts would likely place some fault on a cyclist if a collision were to occur):

    (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), unless a traffic control device prohibits a right turn from being made on the red light, a person driving a vehicle may turn the vehicle and proceed right at the intersection if that person first stops the vehicle and yields the right of way
    (a) to any pedestrians that are in the intersection, and
    (b) to any vehicles that are in or approaching the intersection.

    And for other cases of cyclists in crosswalks, a driver is still required to not drive at a speed that is unreasonable, given all the circumstances. That is, if you see a person on the roadway in the crosswalk, regardless of the legality of their presence there (and we’ve already established that it’s legal to be mounted on a bike in a crosswalk, though they may have violated right-of-way rules), you must take reasonable measures to ensure safety, which includes slowing or stopping. When determining whether or not you are in the right, the law does not consider whether or not someone else was in the wrong; it is irrelevant.

    Driving at appropriate speed
    2(1) A person shall not do any of the following:
    (a) notwithstanding that a speed limit is prescribed by or pursuant to the Act or any other Act in respect of a highway, drive a vehicle on that highway at any rate of speed that is unreasonable having regard to all the circumstances, including without restricting the generality of the foregoing, the following:
    (i) the nature, condition and use of the highway;
    (ii) the atmospheric, weather or other conditions that might affect the visibility of the driver or the control of the vehicle;
    (iii) the amount of traffic that is or that might reasonably be expected to be on the highway;
    (iv) the mechanical condition of the vehicle or any equipment on the vehicle;

  18. Excellent post Chris. I was only considering the Right of Way question.

    In fact the fellow from the City did include the following “This does not excuse vehicles from exercising due care, but they are not legally obligated to yield to a cyclist who rides through a crosswalk.”

    The whole question of “Due care” is too often either ignored or forgotten in these kinds of debates (including the jaywalking debate). That’s where I took the most offence in the original post – that the driver thought that if he had the right of way it gave him the right to hit the cyclists and charge them with damages.

    Thanks for clarifying the “Red Light Right Turn” question. It makes sense.

  19. Chris Chan

    You are stating the obvious in regards to PEDESTRIANS in your own quote! if you are inferring that cyclists are afforded the same protection in a crosswalk, you are sadly mistaken!
    Of course if you SEE a person RIDING a bike through a crosswalk you don’t intentionally speed up and aim to run them over!!!
    Absolutely would not be legal by any means!!
    Cyclists however are much faster moving than pedestrians and do not give the motorist adequate time to respond to there presence, hence why a crosswalk is not called a crossbike.
    By the way have any of you cyclist’s using yellow flashing lights at crosswalks heard of the law, improper use of a traffic control device!

    However do care and attention goes both ways, seeing a bicycle is considered a vehicle under Alberta TSA! and a Bicycle with a rider in the seat in the act of riding said bike in any PEDESTRIAN crosswalk is firstly under the obligation to yield to any on coming traffic and pedestrians! as a BIKE IS NOT a PEDESTRIAN under the TSA!!!

    The red light legislation you quote is meant for VEHICLES as it relates to PEDESTRIANS, Seeing as anyone in the act of riding a bike on Alberta roads is considered a vehicle under the TSA.

    And as for the approaching vehicle subsection you quote it is referring to a vehicle on the road, said vehicle not acting like a PEDESTRIAN by riding across it in a pedestrian crosswalk!
    If your supposition were correct a car, truck or tractor trailer could theoretically use a crosswalk, seeing they are vehicles just like a cyclist!

    Let me enlighten you to your responsibilities a cyclist violating the Right Of Way LAW you so lightly refer to, firstly the cyclist would very likely be, depending on mitigating circumstances, held liable for all damages incurred, not only that but keep in mind that if a cyclist were to injury a pedestrian in a crosswalk, the litigation and liability would fall squarely on the shoulders of the cyclist.
    Finally if a cyclist were to be, forbid, killed in a collision in any crosswalk. the likely hood of any life insurance being paid out to their survivors would be in severe jeopardy, as life insurance is not paid out if the decease was in the act of breaking the law at the time of death.

    Cyclist’s have every right to use the road like all other vehicle’s, and are afforded the same protection and responsibilities, its when they try to emulate a person in the act of walking that things enter the twilight zone.

    Lets face it cyclists use pedestrian crosswalks because they want the best of both worlds, and because there is no specific law that prevents them,
    They take the RISK.

  20. A friend of mine was actually purposely hit at a cross walk on his bike while crossing. The person saw him and you could hear the vehicle speed up. It then hit him and he sped off. My friend then went to the police and was told it was his fault. If anyone has ever biked on the main streets of edmonton it’s scary!! I believe the city needs bike lanes and solid rules and rights for cyclists. If anyone wants to know he was headed west down 111ave crossing the turning cross walk and the person was turning right off 142 st on to 111 ave.

    So even though it was classified as a hit and run my friend was told it was his fault

  21. Thanks for the comment, Jamie, and thanks for reading. I’m going to write an update to this post, as it seems to concern a lot of people.

    Barring any real evidence I’m afraid the police will always see it that way.

    On the face of it the driver had the right of way and the cyclist (your friend) is in the wrong. That much is established.

    Actually trying to hit someone, with your car, bike, or with your fist, is an entirely different issue, and one I can’t really speak to here.

    Finally, hit and run is another entirely different issue. Whether responsible for the collision or not, you stop, at least to make sure nobody was hurt. That’s on the driver.

    I hope you don’t let this experience keep you from riding on the streets. In my experience if you follow the rules and best practices, becoming part of traffic like a vehicle you’ll very rarely have a problem.

    Cheers, Jim

  22. Chiming in on this a little bit late here but I know the issue well from both sides. Like other posters I base my ride-or-dismount decision largely on how much traffic there is, riding across when there is no traffic and dismounting when there is.

    I do think that part of the onus is on the city of Edmonton for creating some of these issues for cyclists by not treating these multi-use paths properly. I have cycled in cities where they install Pedestrian/Cyclist controlled traffic lights at these intersections, rather than simply a crosswalk with flashing hazard or warning lights. It is then very simple, the cars always have the right of way until such time as a crossing request is received, at which point the traffic light cycles to red, stopping traffic and giving the right of way to those crossing, whether it is on bike or on foot. I know that the city is working to improve the cycling situation, but they have a lot of work to do to make it efficient and functional and even more to make it safe…

    In the mean time I would recommend that everyone take a deep breath, relax and make the conscious decision to ride or drive cooperatively. Riding past cars stopped at a light then positioning yourself in front of the cars at the front of the line at the light, only to make all those cars wait to be able to get past you again when they start rolling is NOT a smart thing to do… and NEITHER IS trying to run that cyclist over or not even give them space to ride if you happen to be in a car at the time.

    Ride Smart / Drive Smart… it means far less grief for you in the long run.

    TTFN,
    AR

  23. Thanks for the thoughtful comments Al, and the good advice too. A little kindness and consideration goes a long way – not to mention common sense.

    There is a cyclist/pedestrian controlled light on 127 st crossing (I think) 104 ave. It’s slow, but it works, because the bike path is on the street. I’d like to see a similar approach on the separated paths that cross 107 ave and 111 ave at about 120 st. The signals can be triggered by either a pedestrian or cyclist, but, according to the above rules, the cyclist is expected to dismount. I don’t.

    Never had any problem, such as the one above, which I must stress is the exception that proves the rule. The only problem is one facing pedestrians as well – if the first car doesn’t stop, and goes through the intersection even though the lights are flashing, there’s a tendency for other cars to follow, rendering the signal useless until someone finally stops.

    And you always have to watch out for cars that go around or past stopped vehicles. It happens on 107 a lot!

  24. I don’t know how many drivers, or anyone, reads these posts, but this particular post keeps coming back.

    Some people assume when I’m talking about riding in a crosswalk that the crosswalk begins and ends with a regular pedestrian sidewalk. They would assume that because perhaps that’s the only crosswalks they come across as pedestrians.

    In fact the majority of crosswalks I ride through connect separated bike paths. Sometimes theses bike paths, like the one along Calgary Trail going north (103rd?), are on city blocks. If I was to dismount every time I came across a crosswalk, it would take hours to get anywhere. Not much faster than walking.

    So, obviously, cyclists are not expected to dismount.

    Those who adamantly insist cyclists dismount in crosswalks usually don’t have cyclists best interests or safety in mind, as they often claim. It’s more of a hatred of cyclists that I don’t understand.

    And, my favourite, those who say cyclists don’t dismount because they are lazy. The dumbest comments of all, coming from those with plush power seats, door locks, windows, and steering, air conditioning ipod dock, and they push a lever with their foot to make it go or stop.

    It’s not a motor vehicle vs cycling as much as it is a bunch of anonymous loudmouths on both sides (mostly drivers) that make the rest of us look bad as we get thrown into the mix. The bad drivers that cyclists have to deal with are probably bad drivers other drivers have to deal with.

  25. Jim, can I ask how long it took for you to get a reply to your inquiry? I live in Lethbridge and was hit by a car while riding through a crosswalk (between bike paths) and not only did the driver insist that it was my fault for not dismounting and that I had to pay for the damage to his car, but the police officer called to the scene gave me a ticket for ‘not using the crosswalk in a prescribed manner.’ I was ready to pay for the damages to his car because I, too, assumed that I should have dismounted, but my husband looked into it and he cannot find anything that says that I had to dismount. We’ve both looked through Lethbridge by-laws on both vehicle and bicycle traffic and neither even address riding a bike through a crosswalk.
    I’m challenging my ticket and plan to consult a lawyer if the guy who hit me gives me trouble, but my court date isn’t for a month and I’m sure that guy’s going to want payment before then.
    I’ve contact the city concerning this, but I’m worried that they would take even longer than just waiting for the court date.

  26. I got a reply the next working day, here in Edmonton. Best of luck!

  27. Alright, I got a reply two working days later, but so far the guy I’m talking to doesn’t seem to want to just answer my question. Ugh. I’ll let you know what ends up happening.
    I forgot to mention that the person who hit me had a red light and was turning right while I had a green light and was going straight.
    The ticket I was given did specify a section and subsection of the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, but when I looked it up, that section basically said that a passenger (as opposed to a rider) on a cycle must be seated on something intended for seating a passenger and have his/her feet on the foot rests intended for that passenger. I have a one-seater bike and as far as I noticed, nobody else was on it at the time of the accident. So yeah, it seems like the cop tried to find the law saying that I had to dismount my bike and couldn’t, so he just quoted a random law on bikes and hoped I wouldn’t notice. And I almost didn’t notice because, God forbid, I assumed the officer of the law was actually familiar with the law.

  28. Okay, I’ve spoken to City Hall and the Police Department and both have told me that they do not have the authority to indicate whether cyclists are legally required to dismount before crossing and that only the judge at the hearing for my ticket can decide that.
    There’s obviously something wrong if the workers at City Hall and the Police Station can’t determine whether a simple act like crossing the road is illegal or not.
    Anyways, my court date is Aug. 12. I’ll let you know what happens so that future Lethbridge and Alberta cyclists can know what’s what.

  29. Christi-
    coincidentally I am in Lethbridge and just got stopped by an officer when I used the pedestrian lights to cross Scenic Drive. He said he ‘could give me a ticket’ for riding across the intersection after pressing the lights, but didn’t give me any details when I asked him about it. When I asked what the proper way to cross was his response was ‘Think about it.’ I assume he meant that pressing the pedestrian lights makes it illegal for me to ride as a vehicle and therefore I must walk. I couldn’t find any legislation on this. Hopefully you can enlighten us after you learn what the judge thinks.

  30. Christi had said her court date was Aug 12, 2014 and that she would let you know the disposition of her case. Any idea what happened?

  31. I haven’t heard anything. I’m pretty sure there is no law requiring people riding bikes to dismount in crosswalks. It would mean dismounting every block, even on separated bike paths. Stupid, if you’re trying to get somewhere. I’d bet if there is any law, it’s similar to here – where people on their bikes are expected to grant right of way to people driving cars, and people walking have the right of way. What muddies the situation in Christi’s case is that the person driving had a red light.

  32. Hmm. Quite interesting. I’ll admit I didn’t clearly know what the legislation was and in most cases I’ve seen people both walk and ride bikes across intersections. I have a once while on a shared use path where traffic had a stop sign been yelled at by officers to dismount. At the time I was in a bit of a rush so I nodded and said okay but now I at least know that I can proceed riding so long as it is safe for me (and the fellow motorists I cross) to do so.

    Gonna tack a bit more on here, mainly an observation. I find that quite a few people that don’t commute via bicycle don’t actually understand what type of world we go through on a day to day basis. Today I rode down 102ave to mec. I had on a few occasions motorists pull close to me on passing and press right as if they don’t see me or intend to run me into a curb/parked car. I stopped giving them the foot of room they had and they backed off but it annoys me to see that people don’t want cyclists on the roads at all and will go to extreme lengths to see us run off the roads.

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