July 14, 2021

Bicycle Riders Should Ride on the Street, Not on Pedestrian Walkways

To the Editor:

Last Tuesday evening, rounding the corner at Moore and Spruce, I was nearly run down by yet another full grown adult riding a bicycle at full speed on the sidewalk in the dark with no lights. Frankly, the only thing that saved me (and likely the rider) from serious injury was the fact that my dog yanked me back to sniff something as I was stepping around the corner. All I could utter in alarm was “Jesus!” The rider continued without a word.

Princeton wants to be bike friendly. I get it, but teens and adults are riding wheeled vehicles capable of significant speed on pedestrian walkways. That’s not only not friendly, it’s inconsiderate of people with mobility issues and downright dangerous for children and pets.

I’ve even seen bike riders ride on the sidewalk, dismount at a pedestrian crossing, walk their bike across that pedestrian crossing, then remount and continue riding on the sidewalk. In what world does that make sense?  What’s next? Twenty-mile-per-hour electric bikes on the sidewalk? These aren’t broad city avenues. Most sidewalks are only three to four feet wide, forcing walkers to step on the grass so a bike can fly by. Surely there could be an ordinance and some enforcement to get bikes onto the street where they belong … before someone gets hurt?

Ralph Thayer
Chestnut Street