The Complicated Reality of Bicycle Sidewalk Laws in the Los Angeles Metro

The City of Los Angeles allows riders to use the sidewalk if they ride with regard “for the safety of persons or property.”

But there are over 80 municipalities in LA county, and a single bike ride can easily include two or more.

Sidewalk cycling laws vary from city to city within LA county, and even within districts in a given municipality. For example:

  • The City of Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, and Pasadena permit riding your bicycle on the sidewalk. The County of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Palmdale forbid riding bicycles on the sidewalk completely.

  • In some areas, legality is restricted by age. For example, Hermosa Beach and Lancaster only allow cyclists under 14 on the sidewalk.

  • Still other municipalities, such as Hidden Hills & Palos Verdes Estates, have no laws or ordinances that deal directly with bicycles on sidewalks at all.

Knowing the Law of the Land is your Responsibility

With so many local ordinances, county laws, and city regulations it is important for a cyclist to know what she or he is up against. To help keep cyclists informed, we have created an interactive map of the sidewalk cycling laws throughout Los Angeles County

Sidewalk Cycling:

Allowed

Not Allowed in Business Districts

Not Allowed

No Clear Language

There are also numerous municipalities in Los Angeles County that allow people to ride bicycles on the sidewalk in certain circumstances, and not in others (such as in “business districts” and / or “commercial areas”.)

What Defines a Business District?

Generally, a business district is defined in the California Vehicle Code section 204 by the type of buildings that have access to the street in question, such as:

  • Churches

  • Apartments and other multiple dwelling houses

  • Hotels

  • Nightclubs

  • Public buildings (other than schools)

However, municipalities are free to modify this definition or define business districts as they see fit.

For instance, while Beverly Hills generally follows this way of designating a business district, Culver City includes the sidewalks around schools, rec centers, and playgrounds in what it designates as bicycle-free zones. Not near any of the specifically designated buildings in Culver City? Then you’re free to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk—but only if you deliver “audible signal” to pedestrians you intend to pass and only pass them on the left.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

Because the laws and regulations concerning riding your bicycle on the sidewalk in Los Angeles County are complicated, and the financial impact of being involved in a bicycle accident in LA (even if you’re not 100% at fault) can be overwhelming, if you’ve been involved in an an accident, you may need the help of an experienced bicycle accident lawyer who focuses on bike accidents to help you navigate the financial recovery process and fight for a fair insurance settlement or take your case to court if need be.

Get a FREE, no-risk evaluation of your case online NOW to see if we can help.

Agoura Hills
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 3206

Alhambra
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.04.020

Arcadia
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 3320

Artesia
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 4.4.101

Avalon
Municipal code (no clear language)

Azusa
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 74.83

Baldwin Park
Municipal code (no clear language)

Bell
Municipal code 10.12.050 (no clear language)

Bell Gardens
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 13.04.030

Bellflower
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 12.28.050

Beverly Hills
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 5.5.8/5.6.801

Bradbury
Municipal code (no clear language)

Burbank
Bicycling on the sidewalk is allowed.
Municipal code 6.1.2801A

Calabasas
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code (no clear language)

Carson
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 3244.2

Cerritos
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.02.010

Claremont
Municipal code 10.36.030 (No clear language)

Commerce
Bicycling on the sidewalk is allowed.
Municipal code 10.36.080/10.36.090

Compton
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 7.24.2

Covina
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 10.52.002

Cudahy
Municipal code (no clear language)

Culver City
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 7.04.250

Diamond Bar
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.12.050

Downey
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 3142

Duarte
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 11.04.010

El Monte
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 10.28.030

El Segundo
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 8.4.12

Gardena
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.48.100

Glendale
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 10.64.025

Glendora
Bicycling on the sidewalk is allowed.
Municipal code 10.17.040

Hawaiian Gardens
Bicycling on the sidewalk is allowed.
Municipal code 12.08.080

Hawthorne
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.60.010

Hermosa Beach
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 10.12.170

Hidden Hills
Municipal code (no clear language)

Huntington Park
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 4.7.807.1

City of Industry
Municipal code 10.52.020 (No clear language)

Inglewood
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 3.22

Irwindale
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.52.090

La Canada Flintridge
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 4.04.010

La Habra Heights
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 4.14.20

La Mirada
Bicycling on the sidewalk is allowed.
Municipal code 10.25.060

La Puente
Municipal code (no clear language)

La Verne
Municipal code (no clear language)

Lakewood
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 3285

Lancaster
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 10.04.090

Lawndale
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.10.090

Lomita
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 3.15.06/3.15.08

Long Beach
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 10.48.070

City of Los Angeles
Bicycling on the sidewalk is allowed.
Municipal code 56.15

Los Angeles County
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 15.76.080

Lynwood
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 3.3.7b

Malibu
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.04.010

Manhattan Beach
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 3.1.100

Maywood
Municipal code (no clear language)

Monrovia
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 10.36.020

Montebello
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.64.040

Monterey Park
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.60.070

Norwalk
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.04.010

Palmdale
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.04.010

Palos Verdes Estates
Municipal code (no clear language)

Paramount
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.

Pasadena
Bicycling on the sidewalk is allowed.
Municipal code 10.60.140

Pico Rivera
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.72.010

Pomona
Bicycling on the sidewalk is allowed.
Municipal code 58.602

Rancho Palos Verdes
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.04.010

Redondo Beach
Bicycling on the sidewalk is allowed.
Municipal code 3.1.04

Rolling Hills
Municipal code (no sidewalks)

Rolling Hills Estates
Municipal code (no sidewalks)

Rosemead
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.04.010

San Dimas
Bicycling on the sidewalk is allowed.
Municipal code 10.18.020

San Fernando
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 90-777

San Gabriel
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 71.03

San Marino
Bicycling on the sidewalk is allowed.
Municipal code 13.01.03

Santa Clarita
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 12.96.010

Santa Fe Springs
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 73.03

Santa Monica
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 3.12.540

Sierra Madre
Municipal code (no clear language)

Signal Hill
Municipal code (no clear language)

South El Monte

(No municipal code)

 

South Gate
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 8.10.020

South Pasadena
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 7.12

Temple City
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 3.3B.14

Torrance
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed in business districts.
Municipal code 62.1.4

Vernon
Municipal code (no clear language)

Walnut
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 3.16.1

West Covina
Municipal code (no clear language)

West Hollywood
Bicycling on the sidewalk is allowed.
Municipal code 15.53.010

Westlake Village
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 3.2.005

 

Whittier
Bicycling on the sidewalk is not allowed.
Municipal code 10.52.040)

 

Other sources:
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LA_County_Incorporated_Areas.svg
ladotbikeblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/sidewalkriding.pdf