Can someone explain how this law is enforced? I have never had a problem with it in the past.
I was riding my bicycle predictably and as far to the right as I could, when suddenly I was buzzed by a van passing way to close. Whoa! Pass with 3 feet! I exclaimed. While not more then a second later over the PA from local law enforcement comes, "Why don't you get on the sidewalk before you get killed". I proceeded down the road in shock of what I just heard. Why don't I get off he road, did that just happen?
Forward to a block or two up the road, and who pulls up next to me, the fuzz.. He slows and rolls down his window and asks, why don't you use the sidewalk before you get killed? I calmly explained that the sidewalks are dangerous to ride on with all the traffic coming in and out of all the parking lots and that bikes belong in the street. He exclaims that I am blocking and impeding the flow of traffic and that I should use the sidewalk. I reply with a sorry that it seems like I am blocking traffic, but I am traffic and(Again)bikes belong in the street and do not feel safe riding the sidewalk with all the turn ins and turn outs, and the lack of lowered curbs where the sidewalks end but curbs I have to jump off and up on. And that it is a two lane road, not packed with cars and people are just in a hurry. My road way is narrowing sir, I have to move myself over. No you don't he said, pull in here I want to talk to you. So I did.
He get's out and explains to me that I am impeding traffic by forcing cars to slam on their brakes, and change lanes to go around me, which simply wasn't the case. And that it is not me that is impeding traffic per say, but me and my trailer taking up to much room on the road. I explained to him, that it is not illegal for me to be riding in the street, and it is not illegal for me to be carrying a trailer in the street, which was loaded down with stuff I was carrying. And that the speed limit is only 35 and there were no cars slamming on their brakes but slowing down to properly pass me, and if that meant they needed to change lanes to do so in their eyes then so be it. It keeps me and makes me feel safer on the road then then when you saw me get buzzed a few blocks back by a motorist who didn't give me the legal buffer when passing.
This went on for a few minutes, and he explained how he bikes too and kept asking why I was being difficult about the situation and to just get on the sidewalk. And how it seems like I was being militant and trying to mess with cars and traffic. I explained that I was doing no such thing and I was just trying to reach my destination just like everybody else on the road. Then he tells me to use the sidewalk, and that if he caught me riding in the road again, when there is a sidewalk option that he is gonna ticket me for impeding the normal flow of traffic and I can go to court and explain it to the judge.
I have never had a problem along this road, and never had a problem with my trailer along this road or any other in the town of Arlington Heights. Usually it is the opposite, and they are very friendly telling me to be safe, and asking me if I am ok when they see me riding in the snow or freezing weather.