Ask HPD: Is it legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk?

Honolulu Police Department Capt. Andrew Lum answers this week’s question.

Question: Is it legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk?

Answer: The answer depends on where. A bicyclist cannot ride a bike on the sidewalk in business districts, like Waikiki and downtown Honolulu or in areas where signs prevent it.

Pedestrians have the right of way on a sidewalk especially when there is a bike lane provided.

Generally, the bicyclist can ride a bicycle on sidewalks anywhere outside a business district.

If bicyclists are riding a bike in a business district and want to get on the sidewalk, simply get off of your bike and walk along side it on the sidewalk.

The fine for riding the bike on the sidewalk in a business district can be a $55 or $72 fine.

Revised Ordinances of Honolulu 15-18.7

(a) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district.
(b) The director of transportation services is authorized to erect official signs on any sidewalk or roadway prohibiting the
riding of bicycles thereon by any person, and when such signs are in place no person shall disobey the same.
(c) Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian and
shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.
(d) No person shall ride a bicycle equipped with a motor on any sidewalk.
(Sec. 15-18.7, R.O. 1978 (1983 Ed.))

Definition of Business District (§291C-1)

Business district means the territory contiguous to and including a highway when within any six hundred feet along such highway there are buildings in use for business or industrial purposes, including but not limited to hotels, banks, or office buildings, and public buildings which occupy at least three hundred feet of frontage on one side or three hundred feet collectively on both sides of the highway.

Revised Ordinances of Honolulu 15-4.6

(a) For purposes of this section, “Waikiki” means the Waikiki special district as described in Section 21-9.80 2.
(b) No person upon a skateboard or roller skates, or riding in or by means of any toy vehicle or similar device, shall go upon
any roadway, except while crossing a street. When so crossing, such person shall be granted all of the rights and shall be
subject to all of the duties applicable to pedestrians.
(c) No person shall ride a bicycle, skateboard or roller skates upon any sidewalk in Waikiki. Subsection (b) notwithstanding,
no person may ride a skateboard or roller skates on any roadway in Waikiki.
(d) The director of transportation services shall erect official signs on or adjacent to sidewalks or roadways within Waikiki
giving notice of the prohibitions of this section. The absence of such signs shall not be a defense to any prosecution for any
violation of this section.
(e) Any person committing a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of $25.00.
(f) Police officers and any other authorized officers shall issue a citation for any violation of this section, except they may
arrest when the alleged violator refuses to cease the illegal activity after being issued a citation. Except as provided herein,
the issuance and form of the citation shall be as provided in HRS Section 803-6.
(Sec. 15-4.7, R.O. 1978 (1987 Supp. to 1983 Ed.); Am. Ord. 95-15, 96-58, 01-48)
(Sec. 15-4.7 Operation of vehicles on approach of authorized emergency vehicles.

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