What’s the sidewalk rule?
We are not talking about the so-called “sidewalk rule” TikTok users refer to when referencing the gendered relationship norms in which the man should, at all times, walk on the side nearest to the street as courtesy to his significant other.
We are talking about the actual street sidewalk law of Los Angeles— who’s allowed to use it, and under what circumstances, etc .
Sidewalk rules are put in place to ensure that pedestrians are able to travel to their specific destinations as safely as possible. They are, after all, the most vulnerable population on the road, devoid of any hard-shell exterior to protect themselves from a possible collision unlike car drivers.
Following the city sidewalk rule is especially important in Los Angeles, considering the prevalence of pedestrian-related deaths that occurred in its streets. As a matter of fact, Centers for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) has found that one pedestrian death has occurred every 75 minutes in the year 2020.
This is alarming as less cars were on the road that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet traffic fatalities of this nature remain alarmingly high. This demonstrates that the urban design of Los Angeles does not aptly protect pedestrians from injury and death. Therefore, knowing about the sidewalk rule is of the utmost importance.
But while pedestrians in Los Angeles have the right of way (for the most part) in their own city’s sidewalks, they have to share the space for other subgroups as well, namely bikers and street vendors.
Can You Ride Your Bike On The Los Angeles Sidewalk?
Yes, you may ride your bike on the sidewalk in Los Angeles. But keep in mind that this isn’t the case for every city in the state. In fact, various cities in California have different sidewalk laws in place. For example, the city of Artesia bars bicyclists from using the sidewalk when traveling from point A to point B. Same can be said for cities like Cerritos, Pico Rivera, Rancho Palos Verdes, etc.
Meanwhile, there are cities who do allow bicyclists to use the sidewalks, one of them being the city of Los Angeles. But this is under the condition that the biker is “mindful” to not harm those around them (i.e. the pedestrians).
Now plagued with the threat of a possible collision with cars and bikes, Los Angeles pedestrians have to be extra careful when walking to their destination.
LA Street Vendors
Given that they acquired a permit, street vendors in Los Angeles also have the right to occupy a space on a street sidewalk. When vending, they need to be able to:
Keep it clean
Avoid obstructing the sidewalk for pedestrians
Los Angeles street vendors are exposed to the dangers of the road, and are extremely susceptible to acquiring a personal injury. In June 2022, a Sacramento Bee news report stated that a truck collided into street vendors, leaving nine people — two of which are children — injured. For this reason, they must have a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer on speed dial.
Call Omega Law Group
We have represented clients who have been afflicted by various personal injuries, including Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Soft Tissue Injury, and many more. Our awards and excellent testimonials are a result of our ability to empathize and attend to the needs of our clients. Here at Omega Law Group, you will come first. If you or a loved one is afflicted with an accident, reach out to our team. Visit our Contact Us page or call us at (310) 504-1852.