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Can I ride my bike on sidewalks in the City of Wilmington?

Amy Hotz

According to the Wilmington Police Department, the city code does not necessarily say you can’t ride a bike on the sidewalk. You just have to follow some common sense rules.

City Code Sec. 5-41: Riding on sidewalk, sidewalk area or walkway.

A person riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, sidewalk area or walkway shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before passing any pedestrian.

So, as long as you don’t ride reckless and straight into people, it seems like you’re in the clear.

Also, registration of bicycles is required by city ordinance, although a WPD spokesperson says this rule is difficult to enforce. You should take your bike to the police department and fill out the needed paperwork, or show up at any of the special events that the WPD offers for bike registration

The purpose of mandatory registration is to help return the bike to its rightful owner if it is stolen.

Don’t forget, it’s state law that anyone younger than age 16 must wear a helmet while operating a bicycle on public roadways. See the entire law here: http://www.ncdot.org/transit/bicycle/laws/laws_helmet.html

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