I’m a pedestrian nearly every day on Missoula’s sidewalks. The city has made special accommodations on many streets for bicycle lanes. Yet, most bicycles are used on the sidewalks.
A few bicyclers will announce their presence, as state law requires, when approaching from the back. Unfortunately, most do not. Many ride at a high rate of speed on the sidewalks, some even in the winter. They do not consider the possible negative consequences of hitting a pedestrian.
Data indicates an average bicycle is being propelled at about 10 mph in an urban area, with racers averaging 25 mph. In an automobile crash at 10 mph, the impact force on a driver is said to be equivalent to falling 3.5 feet onto a hard surface; at 15 mph, 7.5 feet.
My point is that a bicycle traveling at 15 mph with a 200-pound adult is quite hazardous to themselves as well as to the pedestrians they are approaching. Montana law states that bicycles must give right-of-way to those on foot.
If by chance I am injured by an unsafe bike rider, I intend to hold them legally responsible. I would urge this for other Missoula pedestrians as well.