Biking on Daniel Island: What are the rules?
Being able to ride a bicycle on a beautiful, sunny day on Daniel Island is a part of the island’s community culture. But with the ability to cruise on a bike throughout town, there are rules in place to keep the public safe. Take the time to review the following ordinances, which apply throughout the entire City of Charleston, so that you and the surrounding community remain out of harm’s way (Sec. 19-125, City of Charleston Municipal Code):
1. No person shall ride or operate a bicycle upon any sidewalk in the city except: Children 12 and under under may ride a bicycle with a wheel diameter of 24 inches or less on any sidewalk except as otherwise prohibited; where the sidewalk is designated by the traffic and transportation department as a shared-use path measuring at least eight feet in width; where the adjacent highway has a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour or more, adults and children may ride a bicycle on the adjacent sidewalk except as otherwise prohibited or if there is a dedicated bicycle lane on the adjacent highway.
2. Bicycles shall not be operated in a reckless manner. Any person permitted above to ride or operate a bicycle on a sidewalk shall at all times do so with due care and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians using the sidewalk.
3. Where permitted on sidewalks, bicycles shall not be ridden or operated in a manner which causes damage to public or private property.
4. A person riding a bicycle on a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.
5. Any person operating a bicycle shall obey the instructions of official traffic control signals, signs and other control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.
6. Whenever authorized signs are erected indicating that no right, left or U-turn is permitted, no person operating a bicycle shall disobey the signs. If the person dismounts from the bicycle to make a turn, the person shall then obey the regulations applicable to pedestrians.
7. No person shall ride or operate a motorized bicycle, a rickshaw, a pedicab or similar device upon a sidewalk or a shared-use path.
Violating these rules can result in a monetary fine and a misdemeanor charge upon conviction.
Sgt. Chris Morrell of Team 5 on Daniel Island emphasized the importance of taking extra steps to remain safe while operating a bike.
“For children who are of the legal age to ride on the sidewalk we can not stress enough how important it is for them to get off their bikes and to walk them when in a crosswalk,” he said. “Though there is no law requiring riders to wear a helmet in the city, we encourage all riders to wear them and strongly encourage children to wear proper fitting helmets whenever they are on their bikes.”
If interested in reading the full list of ordinances, please visit https://library.municode.com/sc/charleston/codes/code_of_ordinances.