Chicago Bike Laws

There is a discussion going on ChainLink currently regarding bicycle riding on sidewalks. I took a look at the Chicago Bike Laws website ( with a search on the question of sidewalk riding.

In addition to answers on that topic I found some others that are interesting:

City of Chicago Seal

9-52-040- Yielding right-of-way. – Permalink

(a) The operator of a bicycle emerging from an alley, driveway or building shall, upon approaching a sidewalk or the sidewalk area extending across any alleyway, yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians approaching on the sidewalk or sidewalk area and, upon entering the roadway, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway. (b) Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian. (c) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right-hand side of the roadway, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction and at all times giving the right-of-way to other moving vehicles.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-52-020- Riding bicycles on sidewalks and certain roadways – Permalink

(a) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district. (b) No person 12 or more years of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district, unless such sidewalk has been officially designated and marked as a bicycle route. (c) Bicycles shall not be operated on Lake Shore Drive or on any roadway where the operation of bicycles has been prohibited and signs have been erected indicating such prohibition. (d) Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-52-021- Riding bicycles on sidewalks–Penalty – Permalink

(a) The penalty for any person age 18 and older who rides a bicycle on the sidewalk adjacent to North Sheridan Road, between West Ardmore Avenue and West Sheridan Road (6400 north) shall be as follows: (1) the bicycle shall be temporarily disabled without permanent damage; and (2) the violator shall be subject to a fine of $50.00. (b) Following passage and approval, this section shall be in force and effect upon posting of signage notifying bicyclists of the penalty for violation of this section.

Added Coun. J. 2-6-02, p. 79154, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 6-4-03, p. 2538, § 1

9-52-050- Riding in single file required—Exceptions –Permalink

Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride other than single file except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-52-010- Rights and duties – Permalink

(a) Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by the laws of this state declaring rules of the road applicable to vehicles or by the traffic ordinances of this city applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as to those provisions of laws and ordinances which by their nature can have no application.

(b) The regulations in the traffic code applicable to bicycles shall apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any roadway or public sidewalk or upon any public path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, subject to those exceptions stated herein.

(c) Whenever authorized signs are erected indicating that no right or left turn or turn in the opposite direction is permitted, no person operating a bicycle shall disobey the direction of any such sign unless he dismounts from the bicycle to make the turn, in which event he shall then obey the regulations applicable to pedestrians.

(d) Every person convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter regulating bicycles shall be fined $25.00.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-52-070- Parking – Permalink

No person shall park a bicycle upon a street other than upon the roadway against the curb or upon the sidewalk against a rack, parking meter or sign pole to support the bicycle or against a building or at the curb in such manner as to afford the least obstruction to pedestrian traffic.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 7-21-04, p. 28659, § 1

9-52-090- Riding regulations – Permalink

(a) A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto. (b) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

Does the ruling 9-52-050 mean that Critical Mass Rides must be held in SINGLE FILE? If it does would Critical Mass Riders be willing for follow this law or would they continue to ride several abreast?