Ask 2: Is it illegal to ride a bicycle on city sidewalks?

Bicycles
Bicycles (Pixabay)

At KPRC 2, we’re dedicated to keeping Houstonians informed. As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston.

Question: Is it illegal to ride a bicycle on city sidewalks?

Answer: According to TxDot, there isn’t a state law prohibiting riding a bicycle on sidewalks; however, local governments may have local ordinances.

According to a Bike Safety article featuring tips for Houston cyclers, bicycles are not permitted on Houston sidewalks unless there are hazardous road conditions.

The City of Houston Bicycle Ordinance states the following:

(a) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district.

(b) The traffic engineer is authorized to erect signs on any sidewalk outside a business district prohibiting the riding of bicycles thereon by any person and, when such signs are in place, no person shall disobey the same.

(c) Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.

The penalty listed is a misdemeanor, and more particularly this: “Any person who violates any provision of this division shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined an amount not exceeding $50.00 upon first conviction and an amount not exceeding $100 upon the second and each subsequent conviction.”

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