Is It Legal to Ride Your Bike on the Sidewalk in Los Angeles?
In a city full of traffic, sometimes it’s faster to get around Los Angeles on a bike than driving. Yet, with all that car congestion, it can make biking in the road feel a little dicey, so it’s pretty common to see a cyclist cruise down the sidewalk. As a pedestrian, if you’ve ever taken a leisurely stroll only to nearly be taken out by an off-roading bicycle, you’ve probably asked yourself, "is that even legal?"
LA is a big county with a variety of municipalities and local ordinances, and you can easily ride from one area to another where the laws differ, like going from Atwater Village into Glendale. If you’re a cyclist, look at the guide below so you know where it’s okay to ride on the sidewalk in Los Angeles County. If you’re a pedestrian, check out where you can shout at cyclists, “sidewalk riding is illegal, you know!”
Los Angeles City
Legal to ride on the sidewalk as long as the cyclist is being safe.
“No person shall ride, operate or use a bicycle, unicycle, skateboard, cart, wagon, wheelchair, rollerskates, or any other device moved exclusively by human power, on a sidewalk, bikeway or boardwalk in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” LAMC Sec. 56.15
Unincorporated Parts of LA County
Biking on the sidewalk is not allowed.
These unicorporated areas include Universal City, East LA, and Marina del Rey.
Sidewalk riding is permitted, but only when there is no bike lane provided. Riders must still travel with the flow of automobile traffic, and pedestrians have the right of way.
Glendale and Beverly Hills
Both allowed and not allowed.
Glendale and Beverly Hills each have their own ordinances saying the same thing: you are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk in business districts, but you are allowed to ride elsewhere. A business district is an area where 50% or more of the buildings are businesses. In Glendale and Beverly Hills, a business district is additionally defined to include:
"All churches, apartments, hotels, multiple dwelling houses, clubs, and public buildings, other than schools, shall be deemed to be business structures." Sec. 240 of the CVC
In Beverly Hills, that doesn’t leave many sidewalks you can bike on, so it’s probably safest to stick to the streets.
Allowed in minimal instances.
Similar to Glendale and Beverly Hills, there is no sidewalk riding in business districts. However, Culver City includes public schools and playgrounds in their definition of a business district, so it’s unlikely you could ride for very long without finding yourself in a restricted area.
Not allowed anywhere.
Not allowed anywhere.
- LA City: Yes
- LA County/Santa Monica/Inglewood: No
- West Hollywood/Glendale/Beverly Hills/Culver City: Sometimes
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