Wheelchairin’ in the Bike Lane
It strikes me as really dumb that it is illegal for people on bicycles to ride on the sidewalk. They are required to ride down on the street in the “bike lane”. Right next to where the traffic is zooming by! Two-ton chunks of metal are hurtling by at 40-60 miles per hour and these people on bikes can’t go on the sidewalk, because why? Because pedestrians might get hurt if they are hit by a bicycle? I think this is the idea behind the law. But hey, I am in a wheelchair and I can speed down the sidewalk pretty darn fast if I choose to. I don’t choose to, being a civilized man. And I think that, like me, a person on a bicycle can probably manage to control his/her speed if he/she sees pedestrians approaching on the sidewalk.
Should I take my wheelchair in the bike lane? Is it technically legal for me to take the sidewalk in my wheelchair? If it is okay, is it only because the wheelchair is my primary means of getting around, and a bicycle is a recreational vehicle? If so, then what if I took one of those hand-cycles out on the sidewalk? It’s a recreational vehicle. But yet, as a disabled person, it would still be my only means of getting around at the time, so they’d have to let me go on the sidewalk right?
Doesn’t make any sense. Are we willing to put some people more at risk than others of being hit by a car? Is this discrimination based on the person’s level of ability? I mean hey, I’m the one in the wheelchair here, I am the one getting special treatment, whose life is not being endangered, so far be it from me to complain, but I am looking out for everyone here.