I guess it is time to stop riding my bike on the Broadway sidewalks.
I don't do it all the time, but sometimes on my six-block commute it just makes sense to stay on the sidewalk and out of the flow of traffic.
Last week, I was called out in Mike Owen's Inquirer feature as being a scofflaw.
Guilty as charged.
It is illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in a business district in Columbus.
I get it.
The issue is now front and center because at least one local merchant -- Brother Rosenberg of Brother's General Store in the 1000 block -- is not happy. Again, I get it. Brother says cyclists blow by his front door, posing a threat to those coming and going.
Brother says he has seen rude, aggressive cyclists pushing their way through the crowded Broadway sidewalks.
I have seen them, too, Brother. There is always one or two in every crowd.
There is no doubt, the end result of this deal will be the city is about to crack down on those who are riding bicycles on the sidewalks downtown.
I can't wait to see what that looks like.
Is that the best use of city or law enforcement resources? Probably not. But bank on it, something will happen.
The best laws are the ones that throw the baby out with the bath water. Right?
Think this through people. Use a little horse sense here. Can you ride a horse on the Broadway sidewalks? Don't laugh, I have seen people do it.
Here are some things to think about:
Some people who are riding bikes on the Broadway sidewalks are there because it is safer than the street.
Kids, say 12 or under, probably need to be on the sidewalk.
When the sidewalks are crowded, and that is increasingly happening with the glut of downtown events and sidewalk eateries, cyclists should stay off of them or walk their bikes.
I guess I have been in Columbus long enough to get nervous anytime there is a knee-jerk reaction.
As someone who regularly rides downtown, here is my observation: At times, it is clearly advantageous to be on the sidewalk rather than the street.
My biggest fear when I am riding on the street downtown, especially Broadway, is that I could get clipped by someone backing out of a diagonal parking spot.
If a driver is not paying attention, it is easy to miss someone legally riding a bicycle on the city street.
I have found myself riding next to the Broadway median, which gives me more reaction time if a car backs out and does not see me. It also protects me from swerving to miss a car backing out and pulling into the path of a vehicle that is passing me.
Also, many people who attend downtown events are illegally parallel parking next to the median. That narrows the road and increases the odds of something bad happening.
If you are going to crackdown on the cyclists, write those folks tickets for illegally parking, as well.
Chuck Williams, senior editor for content, firstname.lastname@example.org.