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Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 11:08am

Lawmakers Consider Sidewalk Biking Bill

Updated: 3 years ago.
A bill making its way through the state House would give local governments the power to allow people of any age to ride bicycles on public sidewalks. (GPB image)

Right now children 12 and under can bike down sidewalks in some parts of the state.

Under a bill proposed by representative Doug McKillip, R-Athens, the age limit would be thrown out.

It would give local governments the power to let people of any age cycle on what's typically a way for pedestrians.

McKillip says it would be up to individual governments to decide which sidewalks are safe for cyclists and pedestrians.

Busy shopping areas with lots of foot traffic, he says, would likely be counted out.

"More rural streets where cars are going 55 and 65 miles an hour but there is a sidewalk," McKillip says. "Those are the areas that bicyclists need to have an option, particularly older cyclists."

Brett Ardrey owns Outspokin Bicycles in Augusta. He says sidewalk biking is a good idea as long as cyclists stick to areas with few pedestrians.

"In areas such as the suburbs where they're not around businesses I see a lot of sidewalks that aren't used at all," says Ardrey. "They go along busy roads and I think they could easily be used for cycling."

McKillip is also sponsoring a bill to change other parts of Georgia's bike law including making it illegal to park in bicycle lanes.