Thus, if you frequently use a bicycle to get around in Massachusetts, you might wonder where the safest spot to ride is. Specifically, you may be considering whether it’s safer to ride on the sidewalk than on the road.
The following overview will cover the pros and cons of riding on the sidewalk instead of the road. However, it’s important to understand that local laws regarding whether you can or can’t ride on the sidewalk will vary from one town or city to another. It’s best to familiarize yourself with your area’s laws to ensure you’re in full compliance when riding your bike.
Riding a Bicycle in Massachusetts: Important Information
Throughout Massachusetts, bicycle riders may ride on any street, road, or bike path, unless signage clearly states that bicycles are not permitted. For example, bicycles are usually not allowed on state highways and certain limited access roads.
Generally, bicyclists also have the right to ride their bikes on sidewalks if those sidewalks are outside of business districts. Again, though, local laws may prohibit sidewalk riding throughout entire municipalities and jurisdictions. Additionally, it may not always be clear whether you’re still in a business district within a particular town or city.
Reasons the Sidewalk May Not Be as Safe As it Seems
You might assume that riding your bicycle on the sidewalk is safer than riding on the road. To be fair, in some instances, this assumption might be correct.
Not all roads have proper bike lanes. If infrastructure in a given area hasn’t been designed to facilitate usage of a bicycle, and a sidewalk is relatively clear, you might actually be safer riding on the sidewalk.