And as always when infrastructure is designed to mix bicycle and pedestrian traffic, bicyclists should give maximal passing distance and show all possible courtesy to pedestrians as the more vulnerable users, just as motorists should do for bicyclists when those modes are mixed together.
Sidewalk bicycling is governed not by the California Vehicle Code but by local Municipal Codes, which differ by city.
(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656.
For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
The road is always the legally correct place to ride under the Vehicle Code, except on closed facilities such as freeways, where bicycles are usually expressly prohibited by signage.
A common misconception (not only among Californians generally, but also among some law enforcement officers) is that bicyclists are always required to stay to the right and allow motor vehicles to pass them within the same lane when riding on a road without a bicycle lane.
The most frequently applicable exception is the one marked in bold below.A local exception to the prohibition of bicycles from freeways is the stretch of Hwy 4 from Port Chicago Hwy to Willow Pass Rd.Bicyclists are permitted to ride on the shoulder between these two ramps, in either direction.Currently, this includes almost all our local streets.Concord Municipal Code (section ) requires a license from the Chief of Police to operate a bicycle in the city. It is not even possible to comply with the requirement, as the Police Department ceased to issue bicycle licenses many years ago.