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Bicycle Laws in Louisiana: Sidewalks

An Exploration of State and Local Laws Concerning Bicycles and Their Use

Only small children, sometimes

In New Orleans and other cities, it is quite common to see adults riding their bicycles on the sidewalks. However, it is not legal. There are often ordinances that limit the use of sidewalks to pedestrians. Sometimes, small children are allowed to ride their bikes on the sidewalk.

 

Local City and Parish Ordinances

Even though it is quite common, adults and most teens are not allowed to ride their bicycles on the sidewalk. Here is the ordinance for New Orleans:

Sec. 154-1416. - Riding on sidewalks.

No person 15 or more years of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in the city nor will bicycles be allowed on sidewalks in the business district.

(Code 1956, § 38-205)

Natchitoches has a similar ordinance:

Sec. 7-6. - Riding on sidewalks restricted.

(a) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district.

(b) No person fifteen (15) years, or more, of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district.

(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.

(Ord. No. 448, § XXIV, 4-8-42)

Sec. 7-7. - Chief of police's authority to prohibit riding on sidewalks and roadways.

The chief of police is authorized to erect 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.

(Ord. No. 448, Art. XXIV, 4-8-42)

In Baton Rouge, there is no exception for small children:

Sec. 11:230. - Riding on sidewalks.

(a) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district.

(b) The chief of police is authorized to erect 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 rides a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signals before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.

(City Code 1951, Title 11, § 230)

You may search the ordinances for your town or parish here.