Alderman Proposes Steep Fines for Bikes on North Side Sidewalk

Harry Osterman (48th) wants to keep bikes off North Sheridan sidewalk between Ardmore and Devon

Riding a bike on the sidewalk in one north side ward could cost more than a speeding ticket under a proposal introduced Monday by the area's alderman.

Harry Osterman (48th) wants bicyclists to be fined $250 if they ride a bike on North Sheridan Road between West Ardmore and West Devon avenues. He said many bicyclists using the Lakefront Bike Path, which allows bikes, continue on their way using sidewalks.

That mix of bikes and pedestrians -- often senior citizens who live in the high-rise buildings and nursing homes in the area -- often leads to collisions and injuries.

"People get off the bike path and go north. A lot of them are…taking the appropriate bike routes on Kenmore and Winthrop," Osterman was quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times as saying. "But there are still some that take that turn and ride on the sidewalks. That’s where you have seniors walking down the street. It’s a significant problem. Very dense buildings with an elderly population." 

The City Council’s Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety signed off on the proposal, sending it to the full council for a vote.

Previous proposals to crackdown on bikes on the sidewalks in the area failed.

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