Man—Apparently Unaware Of City’s Clear Guidelines On Sidewalk Sharing—Attacks Cyclist for Riding on the Sidewalk

Seattle police were called to the western slope of Capitol Hill Sunday afternoon after a cyclist called 911 and said he was attacked for riding on the sidewalk.

The cyclist called police around 1 pm and told officers he was slowly riding east up Denny Way near Summit Ave when he passed a man on the sidewalk.

The man, who was carrying a full can of soda in his hand, took a swing at the cyclist, striking him in the neck and knocking him off his bike.

The suspect then told the victim “this is what you get for riding on the sidewalk.”

The victim—who was not seriously injured—collected himself and walked up the hill away from the suspect, who continued screaming obscenities at the cyclist.

After returning home, the cyclist called police to report the incident. Officers searched the neighborhood, but weren’t able to find the suspect.

Now we’d like to remind all of you that, yes, cyclists (including SPD and King County Sheriff’s Office bike patrol officers) are able to lawfully ride on sidewalks, as long as they pedal carefully and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. From the Seattle Municipal Code:

11.44.120 Riding on sidewalk or public path. 

Every person operating a bicycle upon any sidewalk or public path shall operate the same in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed no greater than is reasonable and proper under the conditions existing at the point of operation, taking into account the amount and character of pedestrian traffic, grade and width of sidewalk or public path, and condition of surface, and shall obey all traffic-control devices. Every person operating a bicycle upon a sidewalk or public path shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian thereon, and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.

We hope this paves the way for a better understanding for pedestrians and cyclists of our city’s regulations on sidewalk use.