Question:Signs throughout the city warn of an ordinance prohibiting the use of bicycles on city sidewalks. However, there are parts of the city where I often have near-misses with bicyclists riding on the sidewalks. How is this ordinance enforced, and why do some places seem more prone to lax enforcement than others?

Response: Bicycles are a clean and healthy mode of transportation. I applaud every citizen who chooses to commute or recreate on a bike. We strive continually to make our streets safe for cyclists by adding bicycle lanes, Share the Road signage, supporting trail development and offering incentives, such as the Pedal Pass (www.slcgov.com/environment), to increase the number of cyclists on our roads.

Unfortunately, due to the number of pedestrians on our sidewalks, it is not legal to ride a bike on sidewalks in the Downtown Business District. The Downtown Business District encompasses North Temple to 500 South and from 400 West to 200 East. In all other areas of Salt Lake City, it is legal to ride on the sidewalks.

It might seem counterintuitive to place cyclists on the roadway in the middle of our most intense urban traffic, but when a cyclist follows the rules of the road, the road is a safer place for a cyclist to ride. They do not contend with pedestrians and, more importantly, they are not surprised by automobiles entering or exiting an alleyway, driveway, or parking garage.

Regarding enforcement of this law, Salt Lake City bike patrol officers are vigilant. They actively give warnings and tickets to people in our downtown who break the no bikes on the sidewalk law. It is our goal to ensure the comfort and safety of all of our citizens.