A Fresno cop and his partner were filmed on three separate occasions, within ten minutes of each other, harassing cyclist for operating their bikes on the sidewalk. Most cyclists in Fresno believe that it is illegal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk; sadly so do a lot of the cops who make up the police force.
I myself have been stopped and ticketed for operating a bicycle on the sidewalk and it was the subsequent court trial that enlightened me to the realities of operating a bicycle on the sidewalk in Fresno.
According to the municipal code § 14-1703 the only places cyclists is required to dismount and walk are the downtown business district and any street designated a walk mall.
MC § 14-1703 –
(a) No person shall operate a bicycle or unicycle on a sidewalk in the central business district, or on any street designated as a mall street by the provisions of this Code.
(b) Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian. At the intersection of two or more sidewalks, where the vision of the operator of a bicycle is so restricted by hedges, bushes, buildings, or any other obstruction so that the approach of a pedestrian cannot be observed and there is danger of a collision with the pedestrian, the operator of a bicycle shall dismount and walk through the intersection of the sidewalks.
If riding a bicycle on the sidewalk in legal, why then are officers with the Fresno Police Department harassing cyclists for operating on the sidewalk? Is it because they themselves are ignorant to the laws or are they preying on the ignorance of the average cyclists in Fresno?
Whatever the reason may be the next time you find yourself stopped for cycling on the sidewalk, remember to turn on your camera and remind the officer of this municipal code
PS: Is it acceptable for a public servant to withhold their identity from a member of the public? Please let us know in the comment section.