Can I ride my bike on the sidewalk in Newport Beach, CA?

Can I ride my bike on the sidewalk in Newport Beach, CA?

With 10 miles of beautiful Pacific Ocean coastline (not to mention the Newport Peninsula, Back Bay, and Balboa Island), Newport Beach is one of the most popular biking destinations in Orange County.

Unfortunately, Newport Beach is also one of the most dangerous cities in California to bike. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), in 2018 Newport Beach was in the top 11% for the most bicyclist injuries/fatalities compared to other comparably sized cities in California.

As a cyclist, an important way to reduce your risk of being involved in a car accident is to ride in the safest part of the roadway possible. Often, it feels safest to ride on the sidewalk, but riding on the sidewalk isn't always legal. Each city in California has its own laws regarding whether riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is legal.

So, can you ride your bike on the sidewalk in Newport Beach, CA? 

The answer is that you can ride your bike on some but not all sidewalks in Newport Beach.

Newport Municipal Code section 12.56.030 (Operating Bicycle on Sidewalk) states:

  • A. Prohibition. No person shall operate or ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in the City.

However, there are a number of exceptions, namely for: "Sidewalks on which bicyclists are permitted pursuant to a resolution adopted by the City Council."

Here is a helpful map showing where bicycle riding on the sidewalk is allowed in Newport (the yellow lines):

As of 2014, there were 25.5 miles of sidewalk in Newport Beach where bicycle riding was allowed. Some streets where sidewalk bike riding is allowed are:

  •  Pacific Coast Highway, between Jamboree Road and Dover Drive
  • North and South Bristol Street
  • MacArthur Boulevard
  • San Joaquin Hills Road
  • Newport Coast Drive
  • Bonita Canyon Road
  • Irvine Avenue near 15th Street

Note that in some cases you may only be allowed to ride on the sidewalk on one side of the street, or for only a portion of the street, so look for signs that say "OK for Bikes to be on Sidewalk" to be sure.

Attorney Blaise Patzkowski is a cyclist and advocate for the rights of injured bicyclists in Southern California. If you or your family member was hurt in a bicycle accident, please contact us to speak directly with an attorney.

Disclaimer: The information here is general information that should not be taken as legal advice. It cannot be guaranteed to be accurate, current or complete. No attorney-client relationship is established between you and our law firm by reading this article. This article should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a lawyer about the specific facts of your case.

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Blaise Patzkowski has been helping
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