W. Washington btw Murray & Third

Stopped. Watched. icon

My dog was almost hit by a kid on a bicycle. We were walking east on the south side of W. Washington at around 8:35 p.m. My dog was on a short leash on my left. All of a sudden he jumped because he was almost hit by this kid on a bicycle. I did not hear the bike approach and we were both very startled.

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  1. By Kitty Kahn
    August 8, 2013 at 9:55 pm | permalink

    The kid said he was sorry and I told him that he should have a bell on his bike or say something instead of just flying up on us. He was going very fast.

    Isn’t there some kind of law against bicycles on sidewalks? If not, at least there should be a law that bicycles be required to have bells or give some kind of warning when they approach so the pedestrian can get out of the way. I know there was a big deal about skateboarders on sidewalks, but I feel bicycles are just as dangerous to pedestrians, if not more so.

  2. By Kitty Kahn
    August 8, 2013 at 9:59 pm | permalink

    As it happens, I’m watching the city council meeting and it turns out there is a state law requiring bells on bikes.

  3. By anna ercoli schnitzer
    August 9, 2013 at 4:27 am | permalink

    I know anecdotally that several of the merchants along Main Street are very concerned about cyclists who come whipping by, going much too fast, on the sidewalk, often almost running into patrons going in and out of the stores.

  4. By Susie
    August 9, 2013 at 8:30 am | permalink

    Kitty Kahn, the city’s guide to bicycling in Ann Arbor addresses the questions in your first comment.

  5. August 9, 2013 at 11:30 am | permalink

    I believe both the State and the City require bikes to have a bell or horn, and use it when overtaking pedestrians. Pedestrians also have the right-of-way on the sidewalk.

    At one time it was illegal to bike on the sidewalk downtown, but that was apparently changed some time in the 1980s.

    It doesn’t help that if you buy a new bike today, it does not come with all the legally mandated equipment like bells and lights. Those cost extra.

  6. By Kitty Kahn
    August 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm | permalink

    Thanks everybody for the info. Now I’m wondering if a ticket would be issued to a bike rider who disobeys the rules or if they are only suggestions. If I see that kid again, I’m tempted to ask him where he lives and go have a little talk with his parents. He appeared to be around 10 or so. He was wearing a helmet. I guess he cares about his own safety.

  7. By Eric Boyd
    August 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm | permalink

    He is legally entitled to be on the sidewalk.

    As a pedestrian, yes, you had the right of way. Yes, he should have used a bell when overtaking, slowed way, way down, and called out “on your left” as he passed. Yes, a bike rider who disobeys the laws ought to receive a ticket. (Although, like drivers, cyclists only receive tickets in a small fraction of ticketable infractions.)

    However, on the off chance a cop had seen the incident, I believe a cop would quite rightly have given a 10-year-old a lecture and left it at that. He’s still a kid and he did apologize. Kids still frequently make mistakes at that age, no matter how well parented. There’s a huge difference in what you can expect of a 10-year-old vs. a 15-year-old in terms of situational awareness, maturity, and cognizance of the risks their behavior to themselves and others. Given that he apologized, he probably understood after the fact that he had created a dangerous situation.

  8. August 9, 2013 at 5:19 pm | permalink

    When you think of it and if no one is approaching, abruptly extend your arm(s) outward in hopes of snagging a miscreant.

  9. By Kitty Kahn
    August 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm | permalink

    I’m afraid, A2Cents, that would really put my dog in jeopardy. But I’m sure you were kidding, right?