James River News Hub had a large amount of interest and comments on a recent post asking how many people regularly ignore the Richmond law against riding bikes when crossing the Boulevard Bridge. The Richmond Metropolitan Authority provided a response:
[Richmond] City Police and RMA Special Police Officers, regardless of property ownership, can enforce the law prohibiting the riding of bicycles on the Boulevard Bridge pedestrian walkway. According to state code 46.2-904:
“No person shall ride a bicycle….on a sidewalk, or across a roadway on a crosswalk, where such use of bicycles….is prohibited by official traffic control devices.”
The official traffic control device in this case, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Safety Administration Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), is the regulatory signage, which states that riding a bicycle on the pedestrian walkway is prohibited by law.
The walkway is limited in terms of accommodating both the pedestrian traffic, as well as bicyclists riding their bikes. This can create a potentially unsafe condition for both the pedestrian and the cyclist.
The fine is up to the discretion of the judge in the case should it go to court, although according to the state code the civil penalty will be no more than $50. Court costs are $57.
Riding a bicycle in the actual roadway could also present a safety issue, particularly given fact that the Bridge does not have sufficient room for a shoulder.