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Hey Alex (or others), what are the bike laws in Evanston?(9 posts)

Hey Alex (or others), what are the bike laws in Evanston?timfire
Nov 22, 2002 9:18 AM
Hey Alex (or anyone else that lives/rides in Evanston), I was wondering if you could tell me what the bike laws are in Evanston. I'm wondering because I got into a mild argument with a motorist this morning on my commute to work. (I live in Chicago and haven't been working very long in Evanston.) To make a long story short, he tried telling me that on Ridge street (and only Ridge street), it was illegal for bicycles to ride on the street (I was at Ridge and Grove at the time). Unrelated, a co-worker said that only in downtown is it illegal to ride on the sidewalks.


--Tim Kleinert
I don't know if Ridge is illegal - certainly not advisableAlex-in-Evanston
Nov 22, 2002 9:35 AM
I'm afraid I can't tell you much about the bike laws in Evanston. However, you can read about the new bicycle lane plan here:

It looks like a sensible plan. They've selected the streets most valuable to commuters to install bike lanes. Chicago Avenue running north from Howard will have a lane until it gets downtown. I bring this up because Chicago Ave. is your best bet for going north through Evanston. Chicago to Clark, west on Clark, north on Sherman. There's no good reason to be on ridge. I can't imagine how you feel safe on that road.

If you're not familiar with the roads, I'd be happy to help you with a route.

Ridge is marked "No Bicycles"rollo tommassi
Nov 22, 2002 11:17 AM
I dislike even driving on Ridge, the surface sucks!!
Alex is correct, it is not a safe place to ride - lanes are narrow PLUS the surface sucks. There are the red circle/red slash signs for No Bikes.

AS Alex says, Chicago Ave. is the best route, also Asbury (west) to hook into GreenBay Rd.
re: Hey Alex (or others), what are the bike laws in Evanston?pben
Nov 22, 2002 9:44 AM
Yes, there is a section of Ridge in Evanston that is illegal. At one time I think there were signs up. I live in Chicago city and used to ride on Ridge, and my brother-in-law who grew up in Evanston told me about it. Also, as you go out Sheridan, when it REALLY gets good, it is illegal. The section past the temple where Chicago actually offers a hill that will allow a gear change. You may already know about it. Take the advice of the other post and ride out Chicago if possible.
I know its illegal to ride on limited access roads in ILKristin
Nov 22, 2002 9:47 AM
i.e. roads with on/off LSD. If Ridge has any limited access it would be illegal. Otherwise, I can't help because I'm not from Evanston. I would assume otherwise, that it would be an Evanston zoning issue.

Downtown it is illegal to ride on the sidewalks. Still people do it. If you are zipping around pedestrians on a fancy steed with bright, tight lycra; you will probably make enemies. But if you are riding a rickety antique at 5MPH then people will probably ignore you.
Nov 22, 2002 12:01 PM
Thanks y'all,

I guess I just never noticed the signs. I should say that I ride into work pre-6am. At that time there's hardly any cars on the road to worry about. Also, I wouldn't ride on it for very long. I come in the west, so what I was actually doing was taking Ashbury (Western) north until it made that turn around Dempster or where-ever. I then would turn off Ridge at Church, so I was really only riding Ridge for maybe 1/2 or 3/4 miles. But maybe from now on I'll just continue up Ashbury.

I probably should have paid the guy more mind, but he was also one of those "you should get off the road because it's dangerous" -types (he actually said that me).

One other thing in regard to *Chicago* laws- I was under the impression that it was illegal to ride on the sidewalks ANYWHERE in Chicago. I know they give out tickets downtown, but they were also giving out tickets in Uptown (for like $150 or $200! That's like $75-100 more than if a car drove on the sidewalk! What's the logic behind that one!).

--Tim Kleinert
Here's Minnesota Sidewalk Riding Law FWIWScot_Gore
Nov 22, 2002 12:48 PM
(d) A person operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk, or across
a roadway or shoulder on a crosswalk, shall yield the
right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal
when necessary before overtaking and passing any pedestrian. No
person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business
district unless permitted by local authorities. Local
authorities may prohibit the operation of bicycles on any
sidewalk or crosswalk under their jurisdiction.
Link to Illinois traffic lawsrollo tommassi
Nov 23, 2002 5:33 PM
as they pertain to bikes:
Link to Illinois traffic lawsScot_Gore
Nov 24, 2002 7:51 AM

Their link takes you to code pertaining to animal control. I did a search on the page and found this:

9-52-020 Riding bicycles on sidewalks and certain roadways.

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

(b) No person 12 or more years of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district, unless such sidewalk has been officially designated and marked as a bicycle route.

(c) Bicycles shall not be operated on Lake Shore Drive or on any roadway where the operation of bicycles has been prohibited and signs have been erected indicating such prohibition.

(d) Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)

9-52-021 Riding bicycles on sidewalks--Penalty.

(a) The penalty for any person age 18 and older who rides a bicycle on the sidewalk adjacent to North Sheridan Road, between West Ardmore Avenue and West Sheridan Road (6400 north) shall be as follows:

(1) The bicycle shall be temporarily disabled without permanent damage; and

(2) The violator shall be subject to a fine of $250.00.

(b) Following passage and approval, this section shall be in full force and effect upon the posting of signage notifying bicyclists of the penalty for violation of this section, and shall be repealed one year from its effective date, without further action by the city council.

(Added Coun. J. 2-6-02, p. 79154, § 1)