The Montana Bicycle Law That No One Follows
I'm a believer in the "Share The Road" movement and don't typically complain about bicyclists; however, I was almost hit twice today while walking on the sidewalk in downtown Billings. I say "almost hit" meaning that someone on a bicycle whizzed passed me from behind close enough to feel the breeze. Both of these happened within one block of the Cat Country studios downtown and it's actually pretty typical. I know most drivers appreciate not having to deal with cyclists on the streets, but the fact is there are laws to observe if you choose to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk with pedestrians. The one that is ignored by literally every bicyclist I have encountered downtown is this one:
A person operating a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.
Not one time has anyone ever rang a bell or gave me a verbal warning that they were coming up behind me. I wonder how many tickets have been issued for this in the history of our city. My guess would be less than 5 in the last decade.
I'll end my rant now, but if you happen to be someone who rides a bike on the sidewalk, maybe you can give me a heads up next time we meet. A simple "on your right" will do.