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Can Bicyclists Legally Ride on the Sidewalk in Seattle?

Yes, it is legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in the city of Seattle, even if there is a designated bicycle lane present.

There are a lot of common misconceptions about this issue. Aside from addressing the fact that it is legal for bicyclists to use sidewalks in the city, Seattle's bicycle code simply states that cyclists are required to operate carefully and in a prudent manner "at a rate of speed no greater than is reasonable and proper under the conditions existing at the point of operation." Therefore, it is actually perfectly legal for a bicyclist to ride on a public sidewalk in Seattle..

Other Factors For Bicyclists To Consider

Bicyclists should take into consideration the size of the sidewalk as well as the number of people walking. In an article on the City of Seattle's "SDOT Blog," it is stated that bicyclists may also ride in the "bus only" lane.

More from the City of Seattle website:

"Every person operating a bicycle upon any sidewalk or public path shall operate the same in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed no greater than is reasonable and proper under the conditions existing at the point of operation, taking into account the amount and character of pedestrian traffic, grade and width of sidewalk or public path, and condition of surface, and shall obey all traffic-control devices (signals, signs, road markings, etc.).

Every person operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or public path shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian thereon, and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian."

If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, contact Davis Law Group.